Gretchen Van Valen Named Opera Ithaca’s First Managing Director

By Afton Wooten

Opera Ithaca has announced Gretchen Van Valen as its first Managing Director.

Van Valen most recently served as the Director of Alumni and Family Engagement at Ithaca College, and has over 30 years of experience in non-profit work and fundraising. She will be responsible for the administrative operations of Opera Ithaca.

“I am thrilled and honored to be serving Opera Ithaca in this role,” said Van Valen in an official press statement issued by the company. “Coming back to the world of opera and working with such an amazing group of people, is especially meaningful for me. Opera Ithaca is doing amazing things and I am excited to be part of its future.”

Opera Ithaca will launch its ninth season in September with a production of Derrick Wang’s “Scalia/Ginsburg” in collaboration with the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University. The company will also present its second Opera Ithaca Festival in November, which includes performances of “Rusalka,” Molly Joyce’s “YousaidShesaidHesaid,” and the 8th Annual Edward M. Murray International Competition of Voice takes place in March 2024. The company closes its season in April with Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw.”