Executive Director & C.E.O.
Jennifer Rivera Executive Director & C.E.O.
A two time Grammy nominee, Jennifer Rivera has sung leading roles in operas on five continents. Her awards include Debut Artist of the Year at the New York City Opera, and the Helpmann Award (Australia’s Tony Award) for leading performer in an opera. In addition to her singing career, Rivera is also an award winning blogger and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She was selected as part of the 2016 cohort of Opera America’s Leadership Intensive as well as Dallas Opera’s Institute for Women Conductors and Administrators in 2017. Before coming to LBO, Rivera served as the Director of Artistic Development at the Center for Contemporary Opera where she assisted in fundraising for and overseeing a festival featuring four contemporary operas throughout New York City. Jennifer began her tenure as LBO’s major gifts officer in May 2017, and has since been promoted to Executive Director.
Director of Development
Hannah Waldman Director of Development
After receiving degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern California and Oberlin, Hannah Waldman sang professionally in the United States and Europe before transitioning to the administrative realm in the non-profit sector. In addition to her experience in development, including the planning and execution of special events for a high budget healthcare organization, Hannah has also worked as an aptitude consultant and career coach for the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. Hannah was a founding board member of Pacific Opera Project, where she also served as the chair of the development committee. During her tenure the company transitioned from an initial seed gift of $4,000 in 2011 to a budget of a quarter of a million dollars by 2016. An active choral singer, she has performed with the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera Chorus, and the Pacific Chorale, with whom she performed at Carnegie Hall. She brings an unusual combination of musical knowledge and administrative skills to her work at Long Beach Opera, where she has served in the Development Department since February 2018.
Production Manager & Stage Manager for Education & Engagement
Eric Bridges Production Manager & Stage Manager for Education & Engagement
Eric Bridges is an alum of California State University, Fullerton, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Directing. Directly following graduation he worked as a professional stage manager, starting in Special Events with his Alma Mater – Cheers to Joe! And Concert Under the Stars. He has been a professional stage manager in Los Angeles and Orange Counties for 5 years, working mainly with non-profit companies. He joined LBO in 2017 as Assistant Stage Manager for The Fairy Queen and has worked consistently with the company, recently as Stage Manager for the popular Love Potion.
Derrell Acon, D.M.A.
Manager of Education & Engagement
Derrell Acon, D.M.A. Manager of Education & Engagement
Derrell Acon is a uniquely accomplished bass-baritone and an international scholar on topics ranging from 19thCentury Italian Opera to American Blacktivism. He has made his debut in the roles of Jake and Jim in Porgy and Bessat Semperoper Dresden, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsches Theater München, Kölner Philharmonie, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Haifa Congress Center, Tel-Aviv Charles Bronfman Hall, and Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari. In 2018, he debuts as Escamillo in Opera Ithaca's Carmen, as Rocco in Heartbeat Opera's Fidelio, as Zuniga in Pacific Opera Project’s Carmen, and as the bass soloist in LA Master Chorale’s Messiah Sing-Along.
Dr. Acon is a 2013-2014 Fulbright scholar to Italy, where he researched the operas of Giuseppe Verdi and lectured on the Black American Experience, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grantee for his work in Verdian scholarship and performance, and a frequent presenter throughout the U.S. at such venues as conferences for the National Association for Ethnic Studies, National Association of Negro Musicians, and National Men of Color Summit and internationally at venues in Europe and Africa. Dr. Acon has also been seen as an opera lecturer at The Chautauqua Institution, Portland Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera. He is excited to perform and lecture this season with LBO, as well as act as Project Director for Community Conversationson topics around race, equity, and justice.
Teri Christian Company Manager
Company Manager and professional flutist Teri Christian’s first experience with LBO was playing in the orchestra for Boris Gudonov in 1994. In all, Teri has played in 40 LBO productions. Her first experience on the production side was as Supertitles Operator for The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat in 2012. Over 20 years experience scheduling and managing her large flute studio as Adjunct Professor of Flute prepared her well for her current role as LBO Company Manager, assumed in 2016. Teri is married to LBO Sound Head Bob Christian.
Steven Belasco Accounting
Stephen Karr Artistic Administrator
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, conductor and keyboardist STEPHEN KARR is a compelling interpreter of opera and orchestral works. He has conducted productions of Trouble in Tahiti, Così fan tutte, The Turn of the Screw, La Calisto (LA premiere), Ariadne auf Naxos and The Rake’s Progress (LA professional premiere), among others. The Los Angeles Times praised his performance of the Stravinsky as having kept orchestra, cast and chorus on “well-articulated rhythmic track.”
Stephen’s schooling includes degrees in organ performance and orchestral conducting. He lives in Long Beach with his wife, Hannah Waldman and their children Leonard and Eleanor.
Marketing & Development Associate
Chelsie Keeler Marketing & Development Associate
Chelsie is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Entertainment Management at California State University: Fullerton. Previously an LBO development intern, she is excited to continue to grow her career with LBO as a Development and Marketing Associate. Chelsie has been involved in the arts for most of her life, performing in many musical theater productions and previously a member of two nationally recognized and titled dance teams.
This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission