(408) 437-4450
M–F 10am–4pm

Shawna Lucey, Incoming OSJ General Director
Shawna Lucey, Incoming OSJ General Director




After conducting an extensive national search, we could not be more delighted in welcoming Shawna Lucey to launch our next chapter at Opera San José. 

When we began this process five months ago, we knew we were looking for a charismatic leader whose passion and vision would help us continue to grow and expand upon the incredible work and programs OSJ has to offer. 

Shawna more than fits the bill — her experience directing productions at America’s leading opera houses, her passion for infusing new resonance into classics, and her crystalline view of vibrant contemporary works will be enormous assets, propelling our company into a thrilling future.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Opera San José family as the next General Director. OSJ’s vibrant energy, support for emerging talent, and artistic excellence drew me to the company as a stage director in 2018. It is now my honor to carry forward the mission of this innovative company into our operatic future.”

–Shawna Lucey, Incoming General Director and CEO

“This is an exciting moment in our company’s history. The creativity and energy that Shawna brings to her work is incredibly inspiring, and I am very much looking forward to collaborating with her in the coming months and years. Her approach of exciting innovation, a healthy respect for tradition, and steadfast commitment to artistic excellence makes her absolutely ideal for this post, and I think our audiences will be thrilled to see what she brings to our stage and to our whole community.”

–Music Director Joseph Marcheso


Shawna is ” someone who will help keep opera a vibrant part of our community and region. She’s someone who makes opera fun to think about and to do.”

“I consider myself an evangelist for the art form. I want every person on the street to know that opera is for them. Come, we want you to be part of our community. Come to this party.”

“Lucey’s appointment casts fresh luster on one of the region’s leading opera companies…. With her appointment, Opera San José takes another step forward for women in the arts.”


Lucey is familiar to Bay Area audiences primarily for her work with San Francisco Opera. Her legacy production of Tosca, which made “potent impressions” according to the San Francisco Chronicle, was chosen to launch the company’s 99th season in August of 2021. She made her directorial debut with Opera San José in 2018 with La traviata, brilliantly staged with skill and imagination, and offering a compelling contemporary viewpoint. Her directorial work has been seen across the US, from The Metropolitan Opera 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.

Originally from Houston, Texas, Lucey credits much of her directorial influences to Russia, where she lived and studied for five years. She spent years working with the world-famous Bread & Puppet Theatre as both a touring performer and staff member, and then eleven seasons with Santa Fe Opera, working her way from technical apprentice to stage director. She 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. Most recently residing in New York City, Lucey is currently enrolled in Columbia University’s Master of Science program for Non-Profit Management and has 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.