COMPANY

Our Mission

Opera San José is dedicated to maintaining a company of Resident Artists with whom we present compelling, professional opera performances, while creating and providing cultural and educational programs that both enrich the opera-going experience and encourage future generations of artists and audiences.

To achieve this mission, Opera San José will maintain a professional, fiscally responsible opera company of artistic excellence for San José; discover, retain, and develop outstanding, emerging professional singers; provide these singers with repeated performance opportunities; and develop, entertain, and educate audiences from the extended community.

Leadership

Khori Dastoor, General Director

In the spring of 2019, the Opera San José Board of Directors announced the appointment of Khori Dastoor as the company’s third general director, to succeed retiring general director Larry Hancock. She assumed the position in the fall of 2019, overseeing all aspects of artistic planning and business operations, and in January 2020 announced her first season, to be staged beginning in the Spring of 2021. Among her missions are renewing Opera San José’s commitment to developing and curating emerging talent and elevating the company as a vibrant artistic incubator in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Ms. Dastoor has been affiliated with Opera San José since joining its resident ensemble of principal artists in 2007. After enjoying a vibrant opera career as a lyric soprano on stages throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, California native Ms. Dastoor returned home in 2012 to pursue a life in artistic administration. She joined the artistic staff of Opera San José in 2013 as Artistic Advisor to the General Director under founder Irene Dalis, and then as the Director of Artistic Planning under Larry Hancock. During Ms. Dastoor’s tenure with the company, she has prioritized role debuts, granting San José audiences the opportunity to hear exciting new artists, and has produced some of the biggest successes in the company’s history, including the American premiere of Alma Deutcher’s Cinderella, and the critically-acclaimed new production of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick.

Ms. Dastoor previously served as Associate Director of the Packard Humanities Institute, responsible for initiatives encompassing arts, music, and archaeology, and as Director of the San Francisco District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Ms. Dastoor received her Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory and completed doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for the School of Arts and Architecture. Ms. Dastoor lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters.

Khori Dastoor, General Director

Khori Dastoor,
General Director

In the spring of 2019, the Opera San José Board of Directors announced the appointment of Khori Dastoor as the company’s third general director, to succeed retiring general director Larry Hancock. She assumed the position in the fall of 2019, overseeing all aspects of artistic planning and business operations, and in January 2020 announced her first season, to be staged beginning in the Spring of 2021. Among her missions are renewing Opera San José’s commitment to developing and curating emerging talent and elevating the company as a vibrant artistic incubator in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Ms. Dastoor has been affiliated with Opera San José since joining its resident ensemble of principal artists in 2007. After enjoying a vibrant opera career as a lyric soprano on stages throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, California native Ms. Dastoor returned home in 2012 to pursue a life in artistic administration. She joined the artistic staff of Opera San José in 2013 as Artistic Advisor to the General Director under founder Irene Dalis, and then as the Director of Artistic Planning under Larry Hancock. During Ms. Dastoor’s tenure with the company, she has prioritized role debuts, granting San José audiences the opportunity to hear exciting new artists, and has produced some of the biggest successes in the company’s history, including the American premiere of Alma Deutcher’s Cinderella, and the critically-acclaimed new production of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick.

Ms. Dastoor previously served as Associate Director of the Packard Humanities Institute, responsible for initiatives encompassing arts, music, and archaeology, and as Director of the San Francisco District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Ms. Dastoor received her Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory and completed doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for the School of Arts and Architecture. Ms. Dastoor lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters.

Joseph Marcheso, Music Director

Joseph Marcheso is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera San José. For the 2019-20 season, he served as principal conductor for Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Verdi’s Il trovatore. Last season, he conducted the company premiere of Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Mr. Marcheso has conducted 22 productions for OSJ, including recently The Flying Dutchman, the West Coast premiere of Puts and Campbell’s Silent Night, the world premiere of Mark Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread, Tosca, La bohème, The Magic Flute, Carmen, Rigoletto and La traviata.

As staff conductor and cover at the San Francisco Opera, Mr. Marcheso has served on many productions including Les Troyens, Jenufa, Show Boat, Die Meistersinger, Partenope, the San Francisco premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, and the world premieres of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Bright Sheng’s The Dream of the Red Chamber and John Adams’ The Girls of the Golden West. Last season he covered works as diverse as Wagner’s Die Walküre and Götterdammerung for the Ring, Roberto Devereux and Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Upcoming productions include Handel’s Orlando and Britten’s Billy Budd.

He was on the conducting staff for Washington National Opera’s Manon Lescaut. He has conducted Hailstork’s Joshua’s Boots for the young artists of Opera Theatre St. Louis and Turandot and Il trovatore for Festival Opera. Previously Mr. Marcheso was the Music Director for the Amato Opera in New York City.

Board of Trustees

Member
Phyllis Bismanovsky

Member
Mimi Carlson

Member
George Crow

General Director
Khori Dastoor

Earned Income Committee Chair
Jane Decker

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Charles F. Hanes

Member
Peggy Heiman

Secretary
Jennifer A.R. Hsu

Member
N. Eric Jorgensen

Contributed Income Committee Chair
Michael H Kalkstein

Member
Cathy R. Lazarus

Member
Jeanne McCann

Member
Pravesh Mehra

President
Gillian Moran

Member
Dr. H. Andrea Neves

Member

Member
Vijay Vaidyanathan

Audit Chair
Dr. Brian Ward

Interested in serving on Opera San José’s board? Email development@operasj.org to learn more.

Joseph Marcheso, Music Director

Joseph Marcheso,
Music Director

Joseph Marcheso is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera San José. For the 2019-20 season, he served as principal conductor for Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Verdi’s Il trovatore. Last season, he conducted the company premiere of Heggie and Scheer’s Moby-Dick and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Mr. Marcheso has conducted 22 productions for OSJ, including recently The Flying Dutchman, the West Coast premiere of Puts and Campbell’s Silent Night, the world premiere of Mark Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread, Tosca, La bohème, The Magic Flute, Carmen, Rigoletto and La traviata.

As staff conductor and cover at the San Francisco Opera, Mr. Marcheso has served on many productions including Les Troyens, Jenufa, Show Boat, Die Meistersinger, Partenope, the San Francisco premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China, and the world premieres of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne, Bright Sheng’s The Dream of the Red Chamber and John Adams’ The Girls of the Golden West. Last season he covered works as diverse as Wagner’s Die Walküre and Götterdammerung for the Ring, Roberto Devereux and Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Upcoming productions include Handel’s Orlando and Britten’s Billy Budd.

He was on the conducting staff for Washington National Opera’s Manon Lescaut. He has conducted Hailstork’s Joshua’s Boots for the young artists of Opera Theatre St. Louis and Turandot and Il trovatore for Festival Opera. Previously Mr. Marcheso was the Music Director for the Amato Opera in New York City.

OSJ Team

Member
Phyllis Bismanovsky

Member
Mimi Carlson

Member
George Crow

General Director
Khori Dastoor

Earned Income Committee Chair
Jane Decker

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Charles F. Hanes

Member
Peggy Heiman

Secretary
Jennifer A.R. Hsu

Member
N. Eric Jorgensen

Contributed Income Committee Chair
Michael H Kalkstein

Member
Cathy R. Lazarus

Member
Jeanne McCann

Member
Pravesh Mehra

President
Gillian Moran

Member
Dr. H. Andrea Neves

Member

Member
Vijay Vaidyanathan

Audit Chair
Dr. Brian Ward

Head of Music Staff
Veronika Agranov-Dafoe

Technical Director
John Draginoff

Director of Patron Experience
Ian Fullmer

Orchestra Manager
Evan Kahn

Patron Services Specialist
Robin Lacey

Costume Director
Alyssa Oania

Individual Giving Manager
Noritaka Okada

IT Administrator
Bill Orrach

Managing Director of Institutional Advancement
Claire Padien-Havens

Resident Conductor
Christopher James Ray

Properties Master
Lori Scheper-Kesel

Lead Carpenter
Chris Tucker

Director of Artistic & Music Administration
Monica Thakkar

Lead Electrician
Matthew Vandercook

Managing Director, Finance & Administration
James Williams

First Violin

Concertmaster
Cynthia Baehr-Williams

Assistant Concertmaster
Rochelle Nguyen

Matthew Szemela

Valerie Tisdel

Chính Lê 

Virginia Smedberg

Viola

Principal
Chad Kaltinger

Assistant Principal
Janet Doughty

Melinda Rayne

Ivo Bokulic

Flute

James Blanchard

Mary Hargrove

Piccolo

Mary Hargrove

Oboe

Principal
Patricia Emerson Mitchell

Pamela Hakl Economos

French Horn

Principal
Meredith Brown

Eric Achen

Caitlyn Smith Franklin

Trumpet

Principal
Bill Harvey

John Freeman

Cello

Principal
Evan Kahn

Assistant Principal
Isaac Pastor-Chermak

Paul Hale

Bass

Principal
Andy Butler

Assistant Principal
William Everett

Clarinet

Principal
Mark Brandenburg

James Pytko

Bassoon

Principal
Debbie Kramer

Carolyn Lockhart

Clarinet

Principal
Mark Brandenburg

James Pytko

Bassoon

Principal
Debbie Kramer

Carolyn Lockhard

Trombone

Principal
Katie Curran

Bruce Chrisp

Bass Trombone

CL Behrens

Harp

Karen Thielen

Timpani/Percussion

VACANT

Secretary
Barbara Brosh

Treasurer
Sheryl Kelly

Recruitment and Development
Jeanne Lyons

Newsletter Editor
Meera Prahlad

Events
Linda Riebel

Membership
Suzanne Sarro

Volunteers
Joyce Scott

Cultural Outings
Jim Stauffer

Vice President
Janice Toyoshima

Communications
Nancy Valencia

Opera at your Doorstep
Brad Wade

President
Bonnie Williams

Member
Richard Dorsay

Member
Frank Fiscalini

Secretary
Rita Horiguchi

Member
Jerry Seelig

Member
Jan Telesky

Member
Melody Walsh

President
Laurie Warner

Staff

Head of Music Staff
Veronika Agranov-Dafoe

Technical Director
John Draginoff

Director of Patron Experience
Ian Fullmer

Orchestra Manager
Evan Kahn

Patron Services Specialist
Robin Lacey

Costume Director
Alyssa Oania

Individual Giving Manager
Noritaka Okada

IT Administrator
Bill Orrach

Managing Director of Institutional Advancement
Claire Padien-Havens

Resident Conductor
Christopher James Ray

Properties Master
Lori Scheper-Kesel

Lead Carpenter
Chris Tucker

Director of Artistic & Music Administration
Monica Thakkar

Lead Electrician
Matthew Vandercook

Managing Director, Finance & Administration
James Williams

Orchestra Members

First Violin

Concertmaster
Cynthia Baehr-Williams

Assistant Concertmaster
Rochelle Nguyen

Matthew Szemela

Valerie Tisdel

Chính Lê 

Virginia Smedberg

Second Violin

Principal
Bloom Claudia

Assistant Principal
Ellen Flanagan

Susan Stein

Shin Sue-mi

Elizabeth Corner

Sergi Goldman-Hull

Viola

Principal
Chad Kaltinger

Assistant Principal
Janet Doughty

Melinda Rayne

Ivo Bokulic

Cello

Principal
Evan Kahn

Assistant Principal
Isaac Pastor-Chermak

Paul Hale

Bass

Principal
Andy Butler

Assistant Principal
William Everett

Flute

James Blanchard

Mary Hargrove

Piccolo

Mary Hargrove

Oboe

Principal
Patricia Emerson Mitchell

Pamela Hakl Economos

Clarinet

Principal
Mark Brandenburg

James Pytko

Bassoon

Principal
Debbie Kramer

Carolyn Lockhart

French Horn

Principal
Meredith Brown

Eric Achen

Caitlyn Smith Franklin

Trumpet

Principal
Bill Harvey

John Freeman

Trombone

Principal
Katie Curran

Bruce Chrisp

Bass Trombone

CL Behrens

Harp

Karen Thielen

Timpani/Percussion

VACANT

Friends of OSJ

Secretary
Barbara Brosh

Treasurer
Sheryl Kelly

Recruitment and Development
Jeanne Lyons

Newsletter Editor
Meera Prahlad

Events
Linda Riebel

Membership
Suzanne Sarro

Volunteers
Joyce Scott

Cultural Outings
Jim Stauffer

Vice President
Janice Toyoshima

Communications
Nancy Valencia

Opera at your Doorstep
Brad Wade

President
Bonnie Williams

Interested in volunteering with the Friends of Opera San José? Email friends@operasj.org.

Emeritus Council

Member
Richard Dorsay

Member
Frank Fiscalini

Secretary
Rita Horiguchi

Member
Jerry Seelig

Member
Jan Telesky

Member
Melody Walsh

President
Laurie Warner