Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce Eric Einhorn and Steven Osgood as the final candidates for the position of artistic and general director of Chautauqua Opera. The new artistic and general director will take over following the conclusion of the 2015 season. Jay Lesenger, who has held the post since 1994, will step down at the end of the calendar year.
Deborah Sunya Moore, incoming vice president for the performing and visual arts at CHQ, conducted a nationwide search with the assistance of a search committee consisting of eight members from the CHQ community and board of trustees. After a deep and attentive process, the search committee invited the two finalists to the CHQ grounds this summer. Einhorn is founder and general and artistic director of On Site Opera; Osgood is an artistic contributor to and former artistic director of American Opera Projects.
“The number and quality of candidates that applied were stunning, and the interviews leading up to these finalists give me great optimism regarding leadership in the field of opera,” Moore said. “Both Mr. Einhorn and Mr. Osgood represent fresh thinking, fascinating balances of tradition and innovation, and a strong desire to explore how Chautauqua Opera will help the Institution live our mission explore the best in human values.”
This summer, each prospective artistic director, with their families, will visit Chautauqua Institution for three days surrounding Chautauqua Opera’s performances of Eugene Onegin, occurring on July 31 and Aug. 1. The candidates’ stays at CHQ will include interviews with members of the search committee and Institution leadership, attendance at opera events, meetings with Chautauqua Opera staff and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra music director Rossen Milanov, and social events that will allow them to experience the beauty and diversity of CHQ.

“This search is not only about finding the next artistic and general director of Chautauqua Opera,” Moore said, “it is about building relationships with leaders in the field as we work to strengthen our joint ability to evolve the art form and build our audiences.”
Einhorn has long been associated with The Metropolitan Opera where he has served as assistant stage director for 35 productions and stage director for two. He is also the founder and artistic director for On Site Opera, where he directed a production of Shostakovich’s The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse at the Bronx Zoo for the company’s inaugural year in 2012. On Site Opera focuses on producing site-specific opera all around New York City.
Einhorn’s previous experience includes serving as artistic director for Klasikos Theater in Pittsburgh, assistant producer for the “Great Music for a Great City” series from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and resident stage director and producer for the “Music at Hillwood” series from the Tilles Center of C.W. Post University. Einhorn has directed for many of the United States’ top opera companies such as Austin Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Pittsburgh Opera.
Steven Osgood is an experienced conductor both in theater and opera from the baroque to the contemporary. He has conducted for many prominent companies in North America, including San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Memphis and The Metropolitan Opera. Osgood’s past work includes performances of La bohème at New York City Opera, numerous world premieres with Beth Morrison Productions, Transformations at Juilliard Opera Theater and several engagements with Chautauqua Opera, beginning with Tosca.
From 2001 to 2008, Osgood served as artistic director of American Opera Projects, an organization dedicated to collaborating with rising artists in the fields of opera and theater. Osgood is still an artistic contributor to AOP, where last September he conducted the premiere of Laura Kaminsky’s As One.
Founded in 1929, Chautauqua Opera is North America’s oldest continuously operating summer opera company and fourth oldest opera company after the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera and San Francisco Opera. The 2015 Chautauqua Opera season offers a fully staged production in Chautauqua Institution's 4,000-seat Amphitheater and another in Norton Hall. Chautauqua Opera productions feature internationally recognized guest artists as well as promising young singers from our Young Artist program.
The pre‑eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 people visit CHQ and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. Smithsonian magazine named CHQ the No. 1 “Best Small Town to
Visit in 2014” in the cover story of its April 2014 issue.