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Meet the company

Opera San José is an opera company located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Maintaining a resident company of artists, OSJ presents four mainstage productions annually in San Jose’s historic California Theatre, while regularly broadcasting fully-produced productions from its state-of-the-art Heiman Digital Media Studio. Entering its 40th season, OSJ specializes in role debuts, serving as an artistic incubator for established and emerging artists alike, producing world-class operatic performances for diverse audiences throughout the Bay Area and around the globe.

Shawna Lucey, Incoming OSJ General Director

General Director & CEO Shawna Lucey

Shawna Lucey is an acclaimed American theater and opera director, whose work has been seen at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and other major houses around the world. Her legacy production of Tosca launched San Francisco Opera’s 99th season in 2021. It was followed in 2022 by her centennial celebration ground-breaking legacy production of La traviata, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “A beautiful new Traviata meant to last for decades. Magnificent.”

Lucey made her directorial debut with Opera San José in 2018 with La traviata, brilliantly staged with skill and imagination, offering a compelling contemporary viewpoint. In 2023 she will launch OSJ’s season with a new production of Gounod’s Romeo & Juliet. Her directorial work has been seen across the US, from The Met to Dallas Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Santa Fe Opera, and many others. She also boasts an international reputation, staging works in Spain, Russia, and Germany, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Bolshoi Theater, and Schauspiel Hannover, among many others, and has assisted esteemed directors, including Stephen Lawless, Lee Blakeley, John Caird, Peter Schumann, and Francesca Zambello. 

In addition to opera, Lucey steps outside the canon into theatre and musicals, staging works such as Gilbert & Sullivan’s rollicking The Pirates of Penzance, which Broadway World  lauded for its “contemporary flair, dousing the classic with a touch of modern Monty Python alongside  Carol Burnett  Show moments. A true contemporary comic delight faithful to the original Gilbert and Sullivan intent.”  

Lucey holds BAs in Theater and Italian from the University of Texas at Austin and received her MFA in Directing & Movement from the Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute of the Vakhtangov Theater in Moscow and will receive her Master of Science in Non-Profit Management from Columbia University in 2023. She has also served as an adjunct professor in Speech and Theater at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, encouraging the next generation of artists while teaching courses on acting, design, stage management, and directing. She serves on the Board of Directors of Team San José as well as the Board of the Theatre Preservation Fund in San José. Her second passion, nail art, can be viewed on her Instagram page @29flames

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Music Director Joseph Marcheso

Joseph Marcheso is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of Opera San José where he has led the Company in over 25 productions. Since his appointment in 2014, Mo. Marcheso has dedicated his career to raising the Company’s artistic stature and reputation in partnership with longtime principal collaborator Khori Dastoor. Mo. Marcheso’s musical leadership has been an essential element in elevating Opera San José to a nationally recognized company by raising the orchestra to newfound prominence through a series of high-profile, critically acclaimed productions, among them the world premiere of Mark Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread, the West Coast premiere of Puts’ and Campbell’s Silent Night and a new co-production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick. This fall, Mo. Marcheso will lead the company’s return to in-person performances at the California Theatre with both a new production of Dido & Aeneas, and the long awaited return of Carmen.

Marcheso’s commitment to education and expansion of opportunity – as well as to the originating mission of Opera San José– led to his creation of the position of Resident Conductor. This initiative, which gives emerging professionals the opportunity to conduct rehearsals and performances of a full season of operas while working alongside a variety of conductors and artists, has become the most comprehensive professional opera conducting program in the United States.

Mo. Marcheso also serves on the conducting staff of the San Francisco Opera, and has collaborated with many of the world’s leading conductors and singers on works that are their specialty. He has covered and rehearsed among other operas, Der Ring, Die Meistersinger (Wagner) Elektra (Strauss), Les Troyens (Berlioz), Billy Budd (Britten), Nixon in China (Adams) and Jenufa (Janacek) as well as the world premieres of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (Adamo), Dolores Claiborne, (Picker), Dream of the Red Chamber (Sheng) and Girls of the Golden West (Adams)

Mr. Marcheso is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a resident of Berkeley, California where he lives with his beloved husband and 2 year old son. Special subjects include Winnie the Pooh and the Real Housewives of NYC, Beverly Hills and Atlanta.

More information is available at


Opera San José is a professional opera company located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Singular in the United States, Opera San José maintains a resident company of principal artists serving as an incubator for emerging operatic talent. Opera San José presents mainstage productions and concerts, and maintains extensive educational programs for the community at large. Most recently, the company has developed the Heiman Digital Media Studio and Initiative. This fully outfitted media lab allows for a new programming arm of the company to produced and design works specifically for digital capture.

Board of Trustees

Phyllis Bismanovsky

Mimi Carlson

George Crow

Earned Income
Committee Chair
Jane Decker

Julie Edgcomb


Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Charles F. Hanes

Peggy Heiman

John Heineke

Jennifer A.R. Hsu

N. Eric Jorgensen


Contributed Income Committee Chair
Michael H. Kalkstein

Larry Kern

Cathy R. Lazarus

General Director & CEO
Shawna Lucey

Jeanne McCann

Pravesh Mehra

Gillian Moran

Audit Chair
Dr. H. Andrea Neves

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


General Director & CEO Shawna Lucey

Music Director Joseph Marcheso


Managing Director, Artistic & Production
Katie Preissner

Head of Music Staff
Veronika Agranov-Dafoe

Artistic & Music Operations Manager
Myles Glancy

Production Manager
Grace Owens

Orchestra Personnel Manager
Lily Homer

Orchestra Librarian
Daniel Hallett

Rehearsal Pianists
Veronika Agranov-Dafoe
Victoria Lington


Advancement Operations Manager
Paige Sweetin

Director of Advancement
Tom Mulder

Marketing Manager
Nicolas Gerst 


Managing Director, Finance & Administration
James Williams

Human Resources & Patron Services Manager
Catherine Wagner

Mike Monje

IT Administrator
Bill Orrach


Patron Experience & Development Operations Manager
Jenny Myer

Patron Services Representative
Johnny Villar

Patron Services Representative
Jasmine Aurora Sandoval


Technical Director
John Draginoff

Costume Director
Alyssa Oania

Assistant Technical Director
Matthew Vandercook

Properties Master
Lori Scheper-Kesel

Scene Shop Supervisor
Chris Kesel

Scenic Charge Artist 
Emily Yoder

Orchestra Members

First Violin

Cynthia Baehr-Williams

Assistant Concertmaster
Rochelle Nguyen

Matthew Szemela

Valerie Tisdel

Chính Lê 

Virginia Smedberg

Second Violin

Claudia Bloom

Assistant Principal
Ellen Flanagan

Susan Stein

Shin Sue-mi

Elizabeth Corner

Sergi Goldman-Hull


Chad Kaltinger

Assistant Principal
Janet Doughty

Melinda Rayne

Ivo Bokulic


Evan Kahn

Assistant Principal
Isaac Pastor-Chermak

Paul Hale


Andy Butler

Assistant Principal
William Everett


James Blanchard

Mary Hargrove


Mary Hargrove


Patricia Emerson Mitchell

Pamela Hakl Economos


Mark Brandenburg

James Pytko


Debbie Kramer

Carolyn Lockhart

French Horn

Meredith Brown

Eric Achen

Caitlyn Smith Franklin


Bill Harvey

John Freeman


Katie Curran

Bruce Chrisp

Bass Trombone

CL Behrens


Karen Thielen



Board of Friends of OSJ

Bonnie Williams

Vice President
Marilyn Sefchovich

Barbara Brosh

Sheryl Kelly

Recruitment and Development
Jeanne Lyons

Newsletter Editor
Meera Prahlad

Linda Riebel

Suzanne Sarro

Joyce Scott

Cultural Outings
Jim Stauffer

Nancy Valencia

Opera at your Doorstep
Brad Wade

Interested in volunteering with the Friends of Opera San José?

Emeritus Council

Richard Dorsay

Frank Fiscalini

Glen Gould

Rita Horiguchi

Lee Rosen

Don Schmidek

Jerry Seelig

Jan Telesky

Melody Walsh

Laurie Warner

Dick Whitney


As Opera San José is a non-profit organization, we publicly publish our annual financial reports on a rolling basis.


Read the latest press coverage of Opera San José, including features and reviews.