LSM Newswire

Monday, July 9, 2012

Opera Lyra Ottawa Appoints New General Director


Opera Lyra Ottawa chooses New General Director to revitalize company
For Immediate Release - July 9 2012
Opera Lyra Ottawa has chosen a new General Director. John Peter -“Jeep”- Jefferies will be responsible for providing overall direction for the company and for identifying and securing resources needed for its operations.  Mr. Jefferies will attend the company’s annual Italian Garden Party on July 10th and be in place for Opera Lyra Ottawa’s production of La Bohème by Puccini at the NAC in September 2012.
 John Peter Jeffries was chosen after an extensive, international search”, says Board Chairman Malcolm McCulloch. “Mr. Jeffries has over thirty years experience in the opera business and is eminently qualified for the position. He has managed three American opera companies of similar size to Opera Lyra and before that, worked for the Canadian Opera Company as Director of Production Operations. The Opera Lyra Board is extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Jeffries to our organization.”
 J.P. Jefferies is known as Jeep and is also known for his success in turning around regional opera companies in financial difficulties.  He brings his extensive experience and leadership skills to revive and revitalize Opera Lyra Ottawa, now in its 28th year.  In November 2011, Opera Lyra Ottawa cancelled the remainder of the 2011-2012 season after a series of financial setbacks in order to reorganize its operations.
 Mr. Jefferies says he considers the chance to play a principal role in the renaissance of Opera Lyra Ottawa to be a golden opportunity.  “I am eager to collaborate with the board and staff to complete the formulation of a new vision for the future, to lead the company into a new era of financial stability, and to build upon its already considerable artistic legacy.”
Most recently, Mr. Jefferies served as Executive Director of Tulsa Opera from 2008 to 2011. He was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company business operations, including marketing, fundraising and finance.  From 2001 to 2008 he served as Executive Director of Opera Grand Rapids in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he helped retire the company’s accumulated deficit and led the drive to construct a new permanent home for the company. Before moving to Grand Rapids he was Managing Director of Opera Idaho, located in Boise. Prior to working in Idaho, he served as Director of Production for the Portland Opera in Portland, Oregon (1996-2000) where he managed all technical aspects of putting the company’s five-opera season on stage. Before that he held a similar position with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto (1989-1996).
 Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Artistic Director Tyrone Paterson says "I am both pleased and relieved that "Jeep" will be joining our Opera Lyra team. We have been colleagues for many years and he possesses a thorough knowledge of the opera business. I am sure he will make a very positive impact."
                                                                                                -30-

For addition information, media interviews and coverage of the Italian Garden Party please contact:
 Sheilagh D’Arcy McGee, Media Relations/Opera Lyra Ottawa, 819-918-7443smcgee@operalyra.ca

About the Company:
Opera Lyra Ottawa is dedicated to the music, the passion and the adventure that is opera, committed to nurturing and showcasing Canadian talents and to educating young audiences and instilling in them the love of opera and the arts.  www.operalyra.ca

Opera Lyra Ottawa’s 28th Season:
Opera Lyra Ottawa launches its 28th season with Puccini’s La Bohème at the National Arts Centre on September 8, 10, 12, 15, 2012.  Four shows only, conducted by Alexander Shelley.  Joyce El-Khoury returns to Ottawa to take the starring role of Mimi.  She is a graduate of the Opera Lyra Studio and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development program. Ms. El-Khoury has taken her place on the international stage with performances at the Met and the Welsh National Orchestra.
On March 21 and 23, Opera Lyra Ottawa presents Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata in honour of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth.  Conducted by Tyron Paterson, it will be performed in concert at the National Arts Centre.
Cinderella by Rossini. This favourite fairy tale has been adapted into a one-hour version for family and school audiences and is performed by the young artists of the Opera Lyra Studio in the Arts Court Theatre from November 3-9, 2012.

Italian Garden Party:
The annual Italian Garden Party is hosted by the Italian Ambassador of Italy to Canada, Andrea Meloni and Mrs. Paola Meloni at their residence.  It is an evening in support of Opera Lyra Ottawa featuring arias, wine, food and a fashion show presented by Earlene’s House of Fashion. 


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