The mission of Livermore Valley Opera is to enrich our community by producing the world’s best operas and fostering the careers of professional opera singers. We encourage a wider appreciation of opera and the associated arts through community outreach and educational programs for youth in schools.

LVOpera Artistic Team

Artistic Director 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.

Alex Katzman, Music Director of Livermore Valley Opera

Alexander Katsman is the Music Director of Livermore Valley Opera. As an alumni of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Mr. Katsman received his M.M. from St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory and his B.M. cum laude from Mussorgsky College of Music in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Since his arrival in the United States, Alexander has been sought after as a conductor and collaborative pianist. He conducted for Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Martinez Opera, Bayshore Lyric Opera, Berkeley West Edge Opera, Oakland Lyric Opera, Solo Opera, San Francisco Lyric Opera, Opera Academy of California, Peninsula Teen Opera, Diablo Light Opera, Town Hall Theater, and also at CalState University East Bay and Diablo Valley College. Recently Alexander was rehearsal conductor for Castleton Festival’s Berkeley performances of Albert Herring and The Rape of Lucretia. He was also Artistic Director for the Alexander Vocal Series, premier vocal recital series in Piedmont, California.

His conducting credits include over 60 opera, operetta, and musical theater productions, including Orfeo et Euridice, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, The Magic Flute, The Impresario, The Apothecary, La Cenerentola, L’italiana in Algeri, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in maschera, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, La bohème, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Andrea Chénier, Pagliacci, Cavaleria Rusticana, Der Rosenkavalier, Die Fledermaus, Faust, Romeo et Juliette, La Juive, Carmen, Manon, The Bartered Bride, The Merry Widow, Mikado, Trouble in Tahiti, Kismet, Sweeney Todd, The Student Prince, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, Carousel, and The Most Happy Fella.

Mr. Katsman serves on conducting faculties of Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute and Opera Academy of California. He is also on the coaching staff at the San Francisco Conservatory.

Bruce Olstad holds the position of Chorusmaster for Livermore Valley Opera, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, West Bay Opera (Palo Alto), and Festival Opera (Walnut Creek), and also holds the position of Assistant Conductor with Livermore Valley Opera. He has conducted full productions for Opera San José, Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Open Opera and Opera Bravura, and has served as assistant conductor for West Edge Opera and West Bay Opera. Mr. Olstad has served as music director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto since 2011. As a pianist, he has partnered with such acclaimed artists as Marie Plette and Kelley O’Connor, and has played for the master classes of baritone Thomas Hampson and dramatic soprano Luana DeVol. Mr. Olstad holds a master’s degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in Music from UCLA.

LVOpera Leadership Team

Raquel Holt (LVO Founder), Pamela Philbert (LVO Board Member) and Erie Mills (LVO Artistic Director) – OIV August 2023

Keith Sawyer, Board President with guest – OIV August, 2023

Board of Directors

Executive Board Officers *

  • Rosemary Chang
  • Raquel Holt  Founder *
  • Henry P. Huff III Treasurer *
  • Alexander Katsman ex officio
  • Monica Kulander
  • Barbara Lymberis
  • Erie Mills ex officio
  • Manfred Mundelius
  • Pamela Philbert
  • Pamela Rigg
  • Keith Sawyer President *
  • Jim Schmidt
  • Sonya Sheffield Secretary *
  • Kathlene Tabet

Artistic & Production Team

  • Artistic Director: Erie Mills
  • Music Director/Conductor: Alexander Katsman
  • Chorus Director: Bruce Olstad
  • Chorus Manager: Teifer J. Pollard
  • Resident Set & Video Designer/Technical Director:
    Jean François Revon
  • Production Manager: Michele Sullivan
  • Marketing & Communications Director: Leslie Silberman
  • Education & Community Engagement Director: Dr. Pamela Rigg
  • Advertising/Community Engagement Manager:
    Barbara Lymberis
  • Social Media Coordinator: Shari Tardiveau
  • Graphic Design: Gabriela Martinez, Texto
  • Web Master: Laura Testa-Reyes, Catalyst Creations West
  • Photographer: Barbara Mallon
  • Set Construction & Painting Coordinator: Jim Schmidt
  • Event Planning & Hosting: Sonya Sheffield, Raquel Holt
  • Volunteer Coordinator: Monika Kulander
  • Donor Development Director: Kathlene Tabet