Clare Burovac is the current General and Artistic Director of New Orleans Opera, becoming the first woman to lead the organization in the company’s history. Chosen from a nation-wide search, she was named General Director Designate on July 8, 2020, General Director on September 15, 2020, and General and Artistic Director on July 1, 2021.
Burovac is the former Director of Artistic Operations at Portland Opera, where she oversaw all artistic planning and education and community engagement programs, including the company’s ‘Opera a la Cart’ initiative, which brought free outdoor performances to all corners of the Portland metro area. Under her leadership and for the first time in Portland Opera’s history, the company produced two world-premiere recordings: Orphée and Galileo Galilei, both by Philip Glass. Additionally, Burovac brought other living composers to Portland for productions of their works, including Laura Kaminsky and David Lang. Committed to expanding access to opera in the schools, she conceived and produced the company’s first bilingual opera: a Spanish/English production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville for Portland Opera To Go, which traveled throughout Oregon and neighboring states.
During her tenure, Burovac managed collaborations with many other local Portland arts organizations, including the Oregon Symphony, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bodyvox, Portland Art Museum, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and Third Angle. As the director of the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program, Burovac developed the program into one of the most competitive in the United States, producing many singers who went on to international careers after their residency in Portland.
In her eleven years with the company, Burovac managed all budgets for the artistic, music, and education programs, managing a third of Portland Opera’s annual budget of $8 million. She also served as the chief labor negotiator and primary management liaison to both of Portland Opera’s artist unions: AGMA and the AFM.
Prior to joining Portland Opera, Burovac spent 14 years at Seattle Opera, beginning in the stage management department and taking on a variety of increasingly demanding positions, including production stage manager and production coordinator of the company’s world-renowned Ring cycle. A recipient of an OPERA America Fellowship in Opera Production in 1993, she has been a guest stage manager for San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, and The Glimmerglass Festival, among many others.
Burovac received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance, magna cum laude, from Bowling Green State University. As a violinist, she performed with the Toledo Symphony, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra and other groups in the Cleveland area prior to beginning her career in arts administration.
Burovac is a member of the steering committee of the Women’s Opera Network for OPERA America and served as a mentor for the inaugural year of its Mentorship Program. She has served as a guest lecturer for Seattle Opera and The National Association of Teachers of Singing and was a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts in 2019, helping to award over $24 million to opera companies across the country. She is a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions in the United States.