Long Beach Opera Names Dr. Derrell Acon as Associate Artistic Director & Chief Impact Officer

By Logan Martell
(Credit. S. Vinnik Photography)

Long Beach Opera has announced that they will be promoting Dr. Derrell Acon to the position of Associate Artistic Director & Chief Impact Officer, effective immediately. Acon will work with James Darrah, LBO’s new Artistic Director & Chief Creative Officer; together they will be planning the company’s artistic output, and overseeing programs such as Community Conversations.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Lawrence University, Acon is noted as a performer as well as an administrator, having made recent debuts with National Opera Center, the Kalihu and Palace Theaters in Hawaii, Semperoper Dresden, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Kolner Philharmonie, Alte Opera Frankfurt, and Haifa Congress Center, among others. He is a co-founder and leader within the Black Opera Alliance, and has served as LBO’s Director of Engagement and Equity since 2019.

“This is a moment. I am unbelievably excited to move into this new role at LBO, a company which continues to position itself as a leader in the field around fresh, relevant artistic programming and intentional inclusion,” writes Acon. “I look forward to working with Jenny and James, along with the rest of our mighty team, to explore and model a new brand of opera — for the folk.

“My greatest hope is that my new roles at LBO and at Heartbeat Opera, as Associate Artistic Director and Creative Producer, will help ignite far-reaching change throughout the artistic and administrative landscape of the opera industry. We should all continue to push for more Black voices in artistic, producorial, and board leadership. This need remains urgent.“

Acon has also been announced as the new Associate Director and Creative Producer of Heartbeat Opera. Upcoming joint projects between the two companies involving Acon will be announced in the future.