San Francisco Opera Center Announces New Leadership

By Francisco Salazar

San Francisco Opera Tad and Dianne Taube General Director Matthew Shilvock has announced the appointment of Carrie-Ann Matheson as Artistic Director of the San Francisco Opera Center (SFOC) and Markus Beam in the newly created role of SFOC General Manager.

Matheson and Beam will join the Company in January 2021.

Matheson will succeed Sheri Greenawald, whose distinguished tenure as Director of the Opera Center and artistic leader of the Merola Opera Program, concludes in December 2020 with her retirement.

In a press statement, Shilvock said, “Training future generations of artists is one of the most vital and enriching aspects of our artistic work. We have been so fortunate to have the incomparable talents of Sheri Greenawald heading this training for nearly two decades. As Sheri prepares to retire, I am thrilled to welcome Carrie-Ann Matheson and Markus Beam to San Francisco Opera in an exciting new structure that will support young artists at an unparalleled level. Carrie-Ann and Markus’ leadership will inspire generations of young artists, preparing them for careers on the world’s greatest stages.”

In their new positions, Matheson and Beam will develop and lead all artistic, production, and curricula aspects of the Merola Opera Program. Due to the cancellation of Merola’s 2020 season, this year’s Merola class has been invited back for next summer’s program under Matheson and Beam’s artistic direction.

Additionally, Matheson will provide artistic and musical leadership for all Opera Center artists and projects, including acting as the primary musical coach for its young artists, overseeing their development, collaborating on recitals and conducting performances.

Meanwhile, Beam will oversee the business aspects of the Opera Center and operational logistics, as well as managing the Adler Fellows and seasonal staff.

They will also work with the young artists on augmenting their musical, dramatic, and linguistic training with thorough and ongoing instruction in mental and physical health, financial management, media relations and branding, career planning, goal setting, and time management.

Matheson noted, “Joining the remarkable team at San Francisco Opera is a tremendous honor for me, and I approach this opportunity with great enthusiasm and a profound sense of responsibility. Empowering young artists in their lives as well as in their artistry through individualized and comprehensive training has long been a dream of mine. The COVID-19 crisis has brought this necessity to the fore, and Markus and I believe that the need for holistic training has never been greater. We look forward to being members of the storied San Francisco Opera community and embarking on this journey with all of you.”

Beam added, “As a proud alum of the Merola Opera Program, I experienced firsthand the unparalleled training that has long been a hallmark of Merola and the SFOC, and I am thrilled to return to the company in this new role. The SFOC tradition of providing excellent training with industry leaders will continue, and Carrie-Ann and I look forward to expanding opportunities for young artists to develop essential skills for an operatic career, while building and developing professional relationships that can function as a support system in their careers beyond SFOC.”