Francesca Campagna Named New CCO General Director

Roberta Cutillo (September 26, 2019)
The globally renowned artistic manager and consultant to cultural institutions, Francesca Campagna, known for both her deep knowledge of opera and her ability to extend the reach of preeminent artists and institutions to new audiences, becomes the first female and immigrant General Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera. (CCO)

On September 25, the Manhattan-based artistic manager and cultural consultant, currently working as an advisor at New York City Opera and as Executive Director of the International Friends of Festival Verdi, Francesca Campagna, was named the new General Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera, effective immediately. 

Founded in 1982, the CCO is dedicated to creating opportunities for composers and librettists and giving life to new operas. It is known for bringing forward performances and new works that redefine American opera repertoire to both US and global stages. As General Director, Ms. Campagna is responsible for the vision and stragegic plan of the center and will oversee all of its productions in the US and throughout the world.  

“I can think of no one better than Francesca to continue the work of the Center for Contemporary Opera,” commented Richard Marshall, the founder of CCO. “It demands deep respect for opera and the bravery to keep pushing forward – she will do that brilliantly.”

Throughout her impressive carreer, Francesca Campagna has built a reputation for both her deep knowledge of opera, and her ability to extend the reach of preeminent artists and institutions to new audiences.

“Francesca’s terrific reputation with major opera houses throughout the world, combined with her inspiring vision for opera’s future impressed us all,” noted Gene Rotberg, President of the Center for Contemporary Opera’s Board of Trustees.

After beginning her carreer in Italian Opera with roles at Fondazione Teatro Massimo in her native Palermo, she in fact went on to work on more than 300 productions over 12 years with the most renowned artists such as Franco Zeffirelli, Graham Vick, Claudio Abbado, and Gustavo Dudamel. She then worked to establish the Royal Opera House Muscat, the first opera house in the Middle East, which stands out for the artistic integrity and cultural diversity of its programming.

“My passion is bringing stories to stages,” Francesca commented, adding that “To me there has never been a more exciting time to be in opera and expand the relevance of this vibrant art form. And at CCO we are uniquely able to do that with new commissions and by bringing contemporary work to new stages in New York and the world.”

Sara Jobin, CCO’s Artistic Director, expressed her enthusiasm for this new appointment, stating “I know she will support us taking bold and brave artistic direction in our programming.”

As CCO Founder Richard Marshall pointed out, contemporary opera is still a little known reality, which receives less attention and support than more traditional opera. For this reason, Ms. Campagna’s ability to capture and engage with new audiences offers very welcome and promising prospects not just for the Center but for the future of opera worldwide.





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