About San Francisco Lyric Opera
Established in 1996 the San Francisco Lyric Opera strives to be a leader of innovative chamber opera in both repertoire and production.
The Lyric Opera is dedicated to:
- To produce fresh, inventive opera in intimate settings.
- To cultivate and nurture the future of the art form by championing innovative chamber opera.
- To captivate our audiences, young and seasoned in the art form.
- At every performance, 10% of seats are available, free of charge, to students from the San Francisco Unified School District. All children under 12 are admitted free.
San Francisco Lyric Opera Production Team
Artistic Director & Conductor
Barnaby Palmer has conducted in Michigan, the Czech Republic and San Francisco Lyric Opera’s productions of Das Rheingold, La Traviata, Die Walküre, Madama Butterfly, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale, L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, Un Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Abduction from the Seraglio, Tosca, The Rape of Lucretia, Il Trovatore, Die Zauberflöte,and Romeo & Juliet. Mr. Palmer also conducted L’Elisir d’Amore for the Livermore Valley Opera. Mr. Palmer received his B.M. from Cleveland Institute of Music, and his M.M. from University of Michigan. Mr. Palmer studied with acclaimed conductors including Alan Gilbert, Rossen Milanov, Larry Rachleff, and is currently working with Michael Morgan.
Managing Director & Resident Scenic Designer
Dean Shibuya, is thrilled to be joining the San Francisco Lyric Opera as Managing Director and Resident Scenic Designer. An architect by profession he began designing sets for the American Conservatory Theatre’s Young Conservatory productions in San Francisco. Scenic design became his new passion and his body of work expanded to other theaters in San Francisco. Opera credits include L’egisto and Orpheus in the Underworld for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Madama Butterfly for the Bangkok Opera, the Savonlinna Opera Festival (Finland), and the Malmö Opera (Sweden). Producing credits include two San Francisco concerts for Grammy nominee Amy Hanai’ali’I from Honolulu, and Tony Award winning performer Carol Channing with her one-woman show, “The First Eighty Years are the Hardest!” in Honolulu.
Resident Stage Director
Heather Carolo is very honored to be directing for San Francisco Lyric Opera. As a Bay Area native, Ms. Carolo received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she was twice honored with a certificate of excellence for her work as a performer, director, and choreographer. As a performer, she has been seen on stages both in Europe and America with leading roles in such productions as Carousel, The Music Man, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Fantasticks, Carmen, La Bohème, Daughter of the Cabinet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods, City of Angels, The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Transformations and The Boyfriend. Her more than 25 productions as a director/choreographer have been performed with the San Francisco Conservatory’s Opera Program and Musical Theatre program, San Francisco Opera Center, Western Opera Theatre, Holy Names College, Peninsula Teen Opera, and Festival Opera. Heather is a collegiate professor at SFCM.
Kristen Brown, a Texas native, has been acclaimed for her impressive, ringing soprano (Marin Independent Journal), and hailed as San Francisco’s up-and-coming powerhouse (Petaluma Argus-Courier, Santa Rosa Press Democrat). Kristen made her professional debut in 2007 as Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul with Cinnabar Opera, and after much success as a mezzo-soprano, Kristen is enjoying a new repertoire of soprano roles, including Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Vanessa (Vanessa), and Elsa (Lohengrin). Kristen has won awards from the Pacific Musical Society Young Artist Competition, the East Bay Opera League Competition, and the Long Island Masterworks Competition. She holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
E.E. “Chip” Grant IVChorusmaster
E.E. “Chip” Grant IV earned his Master of Music degree in conducting at New England Conservatory in Boston. While there he conducted Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat with dancers from the Boston Ballet and traveled to Rome to be assistant conductor with Opera Festival di Roma in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore. In the summer of 1996 Mr. Grant moved to San Francisco and began singing baritone with Volti, a professional chamber ensemble that specializes in performing 20th/21st century compositions. With Volti he conducted performances of Virgil Thompson’s Four Saints in Three Acts. Chip has served as Chorusmaster with San Francisco Lyric Opera for six seasons.
Paul Lorton, Jr.
Paul Lorton, Jr. teaches information systems at the University of San Francisco but has the qualities needed to be property manager – he shops with imagination and speed. Mr. Lorton has been involved in multiple Lyric Opera productions, beginning as a volunteer on Rigolettoand advancing to the property role with La Cenerentola. His prior work with opera began in the ticket office for various cultural events including Opera workshops, films of Russian Operas and a road tour to Los Angeles of the San Francisco Opera while a student at UCLA in the middle of the last century. For the past 9 years he has offered a course in Opera to freshmen entering USF.
Dean G. Loumbas
Dean G. Loumbas created choreography and movement for its recent repertoire including Lucia di Lammermoor, Romeo & Juliet, The Magic Flute, Carmen, L’Elisir d’Amore and La Traviata. Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Nominee for “Outstanding Achievement in Choreography” (A Little Night Music and Oh, Kay!), he has choreographed for TheatreWorks, Ray of Light, Lamplighters, San Francisco State, University of San Francisco, Iowa State, University of Illinois, City College of San Francisco and Sonoma State. He has danced classical ballets and sung in musicals and opera. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State in Speech, Theater and Communication Education and a Master of Science from Bradley University in Speech and Hearing Sciences.
Meghan Muser is thrilled to be working on her thirteenth production with San Francisco Lyric Opera, her first being Madama Butterfly for which she received numerous plaudits, Carmen, which required the fitting of some three hundred garments, and most recently The Rape of Lucretia, Il Trovatore,The Magic Flute, Romeo & Juliet, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tales of Hoffman, La Bohème and Aida. Other credits include Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Roman Fever and A Village Singer with San Jose State University . Ms. Muser graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco with a BFA in Fashion with an emphasis on textile design.
Lighting Designer & Technical Coordinator
David Ransom started with San Francisco Lyric Opera as a supernumerary but shifted to production work, starting with the design of the dragon in Wagner’s Siegfried. He handled the lighting design and production of Das Rheingold and special effects and scenic elements for Die Walküre. His other lighting and set design efforts with the Lyric Opera include La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Bohème, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, L’Elisir d’Amore, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, The Rape of Lucretia, Il Trovatore, The Magic Flute, and Romeo & Juliet.
Lena Toney began working with San Francisco Lyric Opera in 2005’s production of Carmen as a volunteer. Since then she has worked on every production and is now head of the makeup department. She is a licensed makeup artist with a strong art background. Lena enjoys the excitement and challenge of every production and looks forward to every show with the enthusiastic crew and cast.
Marianne Kruze teaches Computer Science and Computer Graphics at a Silicon Valley middle school. As an active volunteer for San Francisco Lyric Opera, Marianne manages the “front of the house” for each performance along with Al Chavez. She contacts and schedules all of usher volunteers. Marianne, involved with the Lyric Opera for over 5 years, thoroughly enjoys being part of the team and eagerly looks forward to every performance. Marianne is also an active volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in San Francisco and San Jose.