FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2016
LIVERMORE, CALIF. – Livermore Valley Opera is pleased to announce the appointment of Erie Mills, former Metropolitan Opera soprano as Artistic Director. She joins the artistic team with Alexander Katsman, Music Director and Conductor for the company.
“Erie Mills brings a robust set of valuable experiences from personal opera performing, coaching singers, and maintaining strong contacts with professional singers and stage directors,” says Jim Schmidt, LVO President. “She will provide Livermore Valley Opera a fresh, new perspective.”
Erie Mills, who has been involved with LVO since 2009, received critical and popular acclaim throughout the world during her career for her performances as a coloratura soprano in the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, and many others. Ms. Mills became involved with LVO because she saw its potential and the dedication of its volunteers who have helped the company thrive for the past 25 years.
“This is an opera company that brings high quality opera to the Tri-Valley and the East Bay. Since I have been involved with the company, I’ve seen the quality improve with each production,” says Mills. “While LVO relies on our many wonderful volunteers, we are a professional opera company.”
Though Ms. Mills has been a member of LVO’s advisory board for several years, this new appointment provides many opportunities to expand LVO’s performance repertoire and bring high quality opera to the east bay region. She looks forward to planning future productions with Alexander Katsman, LVO Music Director.
“While I think LVO will continue to perform standard repertoire, I do believe we can begin to think a bit outside the box regarding both repertoire and productions. Our glorious production of The Flying Dutchman, which attracted a wide audience from around the Bay Area and was greeted with critical acclaim, taught us we can think big and attain our goals. For example, in March we will present Mozart’s comedic opera The Marriage of Figaro, set in 1940’s Hollywood. LVO has produced Figaro twice in its history: in 1999 and in 2009. Both were traditional productions. This time will be wonderfully different for those who have seen the opera many times and exciting for those seeing it for the first time.”
Since joining LVO in 2009, Ms. Mills has been a great champion for LVO, always speaking highly of its professional productions, great potential and volunteers. But she knows there is still work to be done.
“Many people don’t know there is a professional opera company in Livermore. We have to change this. I believe we are the best small company in the entire bay area. We have a high quality product and people need to know about it, appreciate it and support it, both in attendance and patronage. One of my goals is to have folks come to the box office on a performance date and not be able to get in because we are sold out! Get your tickets early, because you will want to be a part of our audience!”
About Erie Mills
Erie Mills has received critical and popular acclaim throughout the world. She has performed in the world’s major opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera and many others. As a concert artist, Ms. Mills has appeared with the orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Her performance of Cunegonde at the New York City Opera was seen on a national telecast on PBS’ “Live from Lincoln Center.” From 1998-2008 she was on the voice faculty at San José State University. Since 2004 she has worked as the English diction specialist for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and also works in this capacity for the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. In 2004 she became the first singer to join the board of directors of Opera America. She is a graduate of The College of Wooster in Ohio, the University of Illinois, and the Houston Opera Studio.
Livermore Valley Opera was founded in 1992, and presents fully-staged operas at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater in the spring and fall. This gem of a theater features excellent lines of sight and acoustics, helping the opera to attract talented singers and stage directors for their performances.
LVO is a professional opera company and a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable arts organization.