New faces, new ambitions as opera houses reopen

By Associated Press |

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Enrique Mazzola (Photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As opera houses around the country warily resume indoor performances, two of the biggest are ushering in new leadership — along with a heightened commitment to building new audiences. In San Francisco, Korean-born Eun Sun Kim becomes the company’s first female music director and first Asian. Nearly 2,000 miles to the east, Enrique Mazzola is taking up the reins as only the third music director in the history of Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Both directors tell The Associated Press they are keenly interested in showing that opera is not just for rich, white elites. Their arrival comes amid the COVID-19 upheaval for opera houses, which abandoned indoor performances for a variety of outdoor venues.

Mike Silverman for the Associated Press