There are several opera companies across the nation that provide opportunities and education to artists. These programs, usually called Young Artist Programs, are highly competitive, and focus almost exclusively on training young singers for international careers. This leaves behind many talented artists, who are also very much deserving of opportunities, experiences, and further education. Phènix Opera Company seeks to create a nurturing environment for local artists, regardless of their age. We firmly believe that artists should be locally fostered so they can provide high quality art and performances to their own community, stimulating it and shaping it. Furthermore, we believe that artists should have the opportunity to build the career that best suits their personal goals. Phènix Opera Company was founded by Osvaldo de Leon. We offer local and developing opera professionals the opportunity to participate in high-quality productions. In addition, we provide our singers with private coaching and instruction, as well as exposure to local opera companies in order to enhance their network. Finally, we provide our singers with marketing tools tailored to their own personal career goals.
Osvaldo de Leon
Osvaldo was the recipient of the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts grant in 2011 to finish his graduate studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU); The Avalos Award in 2010 after his interpretation of Latin American Music; and the Concerto Competition at SFSU in 2010; the FINANCIARTE grant in 2006 to produce, direct the opera “La Voix Humaine” by Francis Poulenc; and the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts grant in 2003 to study a year at the University of Texas in Austin. In Mexico he was admired due to his capacity to approach solo repertoire as well as to perform chamber music, accompany singers and instrumentalists, coach opera, and direct choirs both amateur and professional. He has performed with the Russian Chamber Orchestra in Marin California, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Sonora, The San Francisco State University Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Nuevo Leon, the Orquesta Juvenil de Nuevo Leon. He has appeared at the Festival Ceiba in Tabasco, Mexico, Encuentro Internacional de Opera in Coahuila, the Vocal Cycle at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the Festival Cultural Tamaulipas, Spring Festival of Radio Nuevo Leon, and the Festival Rio de Bravo in Coahuila. He has conducted with Verismo Opera in Vallejo, CA the productions of Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini, and Il Tabarro by G. Puccini. He conducted with Berkeley Chamber Opera the production of The Marriage of Figaro. He recently has been working at Spindrift School of Performing Arts as Musical Director for their musical theater productions such as A Chorus Line and Seussical the Musical. Osvaldo de Leon finished his Bachelor´s degree in Piano Performance at Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, México and his Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Chamber Music at San Francisco State University. His teachers have been Gerardo Antonio González, Naoya Seino, Gregory Allen and Dr. Roger Woodward. He also has studies in composition under the guidance of Jorge Torres and Georgina Derbez.
Dr. Terry Heiman-Patterson
President of the Board
Dr. Heiman-Patterson is Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine. Her career has been dedicated to clinical care and research in ALS or Lou Gehrigs Disease. She directs the MDA ALS Center of Hope at Drexel and has received more than a dozen grants to do both basic and clinical research in ALS. Under her direction, the Center of Hope has conducted clinical trials testing more than 25 different experimental treatments, while basic research is conducted using a mouse model to study genes that can modify the severity of the disease. She is co-chairman of Northeast ALS Consortium, President of the ALS Hope Foundation, and a member of the International Alliance of MND . She has published over 100 papers, abstracts, and chapters on ALS. As an extension of her commitment to ALS she founded the ALS Hope Foundation a non profit organization dedicated to making a difference to people living with ALS.
While her professional passion is helping people living with ALS, in her private life she is a musician and avid supporter of the arts. It has been her dream to combine the passion for the arts and providing opportunities for young performers and artists with making a difference to ALS leading to the partnership between Phènix Opera and the ALS Hope Foundation.
Board Member, Treasurer
Mithuna Sivaraman, coloratura soprano, is originally from Singapore, and now lives in San Francisco. She started singing with Indian classical music, following in the footsteps of generations of female singers in her family. As a teenager, she studied under noted musicians DK Pattamal and Ustad Vilayat Khan. She discovered Opera in 6th grade, singing in the children’s chorus of Tosca, as part of Opera Festival of New Jersey. She has gone on to perform such roles as First Spirit (Mozart’s The Magic Flute) and Gretel (Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel), and is currently a roster singer with Opera on Tap SF and a member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. In 2010, she placed second in the Maryland/D.C. National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, Continuing Education division.
In her “other life,” Mithuna works as part of Ernst & Young’s Financial Service Transfer Pricing team. She earned her law degree from Emory University School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2013. In 2008, she graduated from Georgetown University, with a degree in International Political Economy. At Georgetown, she was the Honor Soloist of her graduating class, and led her class in singing The Star-Spangled Banner.