Lucy Arner, conductor
Conductor Lucy Arner brings to the podium a special affinity for Italian and French opera that is enhanced by her vast experience working in some of the world’s greatest opera houses, such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Metropolitan Opera.
Known as “a true singer’s conductor,” Lucy Arner made her professional debut in 1996 conducting Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Menotti’s The Telephone at the Teatro Mancinelli in Orvieto, Italy. Ms. Arner has conducted opera and concerts all over the world, and was the first woman to conduct opera in Mexico City’s historic Palacio de Bellas Artes. She was appointed Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Opera in November 2000, and made her debut with the company conducting an exciting and controversial production of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. Under her direction, the Chamber Opera carved out a unique niche in New York’s operatic landscape, presenting Donizetti’s Il Campanello, Seymour Barab’s Not a Spanish Kiss and Fortune’s Favorites, and the sold-out run of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in “a novel, timely interpretation by the innovative New York Chamber Opera, led by gifted conductor Lucy Arner,” as described by Time Out magazine.
Ms. Arner made her South American debut in Lima, Perú with a new production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly in 2001, followed by Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Puccini’s Tosca. Lima’s El Comercio wrote “Lucy Arner conducted the orchestra revealing impeccable technique as well as a profound knowledge of the style and the score.” She made her New York City Opera debut conducting scenes from Richard Danielpour’s new opera Margaret Garner and led “an elegant reading of Mozart’s Magic Flute” for Mexico’s Festival Internacional Tamaulipas, as described by ProOpera Magazine.
Lucy Arner is the Music Director and administrator of the American National Opera Company, and has been instrumental in its development as it prepares for its first US tour in 2016. She was appointed to the position of Music Director and Conductor of New Jersey Verismo Opera in 2015, and will lead the company’s production of La Gioconda in 2016 as her debut with the company.
Ms. Arner was the interim Music Director of the Moores Opera Center at the University of Houston during the 2008-09 season, conducting Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and critically acclaimed performances of Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath and Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Other recent engagements include Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Mexico City’s Teatro de Bellas Artes, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in Tel Aviv, a double bill of Pagliacci and Suor Angelica for New Zealand’s Canterbury Opera, performances of Le Nozze di Figaro in Italy for Opera Ischia and Monterrey, Mexico, Cosí fan tutte, The Magic Flute and a New Year’s Eve Gala for Opera Naples, a gala benefit concert featuring Metropolitan Opera soprano Cynthia Lawrence in South America, and Ned Rorem’s Our Town for Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, her alma mater. On Good Friday of 2010, Ms. Arner conducted the Verdi Requiem in Santo Domingo in a nationally televised concert. 2011 marked another milestone for Lucy Arner in Miami, as she conducted Florida Grand Opera’s The Tales of Hoffmann for her debut with the company, and received the Henry C. Clark Conductor Award for the 2010-2011 season.
An active pianist as well as a conductor, her most recent concert work includes Aprile Millo’s New York recital for Opera Orchestra of New York, recitals with Dutch baritone Hans-Pieter Herrman at Hunter College and Columbia University, and with mezzo-soprano Nancy Herrera and soprano Aprile Millo in Spain’s Canary Islands. Duirng the summer of 2008, Ms. Arner joined director and Met radio commentator Ira Siff in Tanglewood, where they prepared a program of opera scenes with the young singers of the Tanglewood Music Center at the invitation of Maestro James Levine. Her long and hilarious collaboration with Madame Vera Galupe-Borszhk (also known as Ira Siff) began in 2001, and she has since appeared regularly as Maestro Sergio Zawa in La Gran Scena’s Annual Farewell Recitals and many benefit concerts. A DVD of the Farewell Recital was released commercially by VAI.
Lucy Arner was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff from 1994 through the 2007-08 season. Specializing in Italian repertory, she was featured as the recitative accompanist in productions of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore as well as preparing several Met telecasts such as Giordan’s Fedora with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo, the spectacular production of Madame Butterfly by the late Anthony Minghella, Verdi’s Macbeth and Bellini’s I Puritani with Anna Netrebko. She has worked with many prominent singers in operatic productions including Alfredo Kraus, Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo, Sharon Sweet, Aprile Millo, Giuseppe Giacomini, José Carreras, Teresa Berganza, Juan Pons, June Anderson, Marilyn Horne, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Ben Heppner, Jennifer Larmore, Juan Diego Florez, Rockwell Blake, Paul Plishka, Mignon Dunn, Dolora Zajik, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming, and Thomas Hampson. Ms. Arner was quoted extensively about her experiences with Montserrat Caballé in the November 2002 Opera News cover article profiling the great Spanish soprano.
Born in Santiago, Cuba, Lucy Arner began her musical studies at the age of twelve. She attended Baldwin-Wallace College, Indiana University, receiving Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees and continued her doctoral studies at the University of Miami. She was honored with Distinguished Alumnae Awards from Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Miami. Currently she is on the faculty of Mannes College of Music and coaches privately in New York City in addition to her busy conducting schedule.