Jennifer Rivera takes the helm at LBO

When mezzos take over, good things happen.  (Yes, your editor is biased. Deal with it.)

Actually, we’re more biased because of the truly fantastic work Jennifer Rivera has done with her blogging over the years, first with “Trying to Remain Operational”, and then with her writing for HuffPost. See links in the press release below to check out that work, and to learn about her new position as LBO’s new admin chief.  This powerhouse of a creative diva and arts advocate has the smarts, drive and deep understanding of what it takes to survive and thrive in the arts. Can’t wait to see what happens next.

This is going to be fun…


Press release follows.


Long Beach Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season

Long Beach Opera Announces Jennifer Rivera
New Executive Director and C.E.O.

October 13, 2018 — Long Beach Opera announces Jennifer Rivera has been named Executive Director and C.E.O.

Following two decades as an operatic mezzo-soprano soloist, Jennifer has served as Long Beach Opera’s Director of Development and Major Gifts Officer since the beginning of 2017. Before joining the staff at LBO, Jennifer had an international opera career, performing leading roles on five continents. After graduating from Juilliard, she was named Debut Artist of the Year by New York City Opera, and went on to garner two Grammy nominations as well as winning the Helpmann Award (Australia’s Tony Award) for leading performer in an opera in 2015.

In addition to her active singing career, Ms. Rivera was a well-known arts blogger, including her articles for the Huffington Post Arts and Culture Section, which were read and shared by hundreds of thousands of readers.

Jennifer Rivera’s career in opera led her to specialize in both baroque and contemporary repertoire; in addition to performing at the Berlin Staatsoper, the Teatro Regio di Torino and the Innsbruck Festival fur Alte Musik, she became a known interpreter of the works of American Composers including Mark Adamo and Jake Heggie, creating roles in multiple world premieres. Her interest in performing unusual repertoire was one of the deciding factors in her decision to begin her career in opera administration at Long Beach Opera.

Since joining the staff at Long Beach Opera, she has raised over $100,000 in successful grant applications; created and implemented a $1.5 million, three year campaign that in six months since inception is one-third towards goal; , and has created and funded the “Community Conversation Initiative,” an ambitious program which will bring speakers and performers together for free programs throughout Long Beach to talk about this year’s 40th anniversary theme of justice — including discussions of racial inequity and the justice system.

Rivera says, ”For the latter part of my singing career, I became more and more aware of the challenges of sustainability and relevance facing the opera industry in the 21st century. I consider myself an opera ambassador –someone who believes passionately in the ability of opera, with its intersectional majesty, to have an impact on society through musical storytelling and the power of the human voice.”

“But when several of my beloved opera companies faced bankruptcy, I decided that I desperately wanted to find ways to bring the power and beauty of opera to as many people as possible, which I decided would be best achieved by working on the other side of the curtain. I was drawn to Long Beach Opera because I knew that LBO was known as an innovator within the opera world, and that Andreas Mitisek had continually found new ways to make opera exciting, relevant and accessible without compromising artistic quality.”

“I am amazed at what Long Beach Opera has accomplished in its 40 year history, and how many opera trends and operatic rarities Andreas has first championed. I am honored to shepherd Long Beach Opera into the next era of growth and to find new avenues for innovation and artistic excellence in partnership with Andreas. I have found the most amazing and delightful home in Long Beach, and am eager to continue to contribute to the vibrant, growing arts scene in Long Beach and throughout Southern California.”

Long Beach Opera 40th Anniversary Season

Long Beach Opera celebrates two milestones in the 2018-2019 season – its fortieth anniversary and the 20th anniversary of Andreas Mitisek leading the company as artistic director.

Subscriptions to Long Beach Opera’s 2019 season range from $73.50 to $450 are available at and at 562.470.SING (7464) x101. Individual tickets go on sale on August 1, 2018.

LBO opens the season with Steve Reich’s Three Tales at the Ernest Borgnine Theater, Scottish Rite Event Center in Long Beach on November 3 and 4, 2018. Three Tales will serve as the centerpiece to Long Beach Opera’s 40th anniversary Gala, which will take place following the performance on
November 3rd.

The United States premiere of The Black Cat follows, on January 19 and 20, 2019 at the Beverly O’Neill Theatre in Long Beach, performed with Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra. The Black Cat is a musical concept by Martin Haselböck, with music by David Sylvian and Johann Sebastian Bach, with additional music by Ernst Krenek, Martin Haselböck and Ülo Krigul.

In the Penal Colony, composed by Philip Glass, with libretto by Rudy Wurlitzer is performed in the intimate Studio Theatre at California State University Long Beach campus for six performances, April 26-27-28 and May 2-3-4, 2019.

The season closes with Anthony Davis’ The Central Park Five on June 15, 22 and 23, 2019 at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro.

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