Emerald City Opera promotes opera and the vocal arts in Northwest Colorado, through educational and musical opportunities in collaboration with world-class artists.
Conductor & Artistic Director for ECO
Andres Cladera, a native of Uruguay, is the Artistic Director of Emerald City Opera in Steamboat Springs. His responsibilities for Emerald City Opera are to plan and cast opera productions, provide direction for the Education and Outreach programs including the summer Opera Artist Institute for emerging professional singers, and programs for music education in public and private schools in Northwest Colorado. He will also be involved in production management, fund raising, development, and public relations.
Mr. Cladera, who began singing in opera productions at the age of seven, is also the former Resident Conductor at San Antonio Opera and is the founder and Artistic Director of The Microscopic Opera Company in Pittsburg, PA. Mr. Cladera holds a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from Carnegie Mellon University and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Piano and Vocal Performance from the College of Charleston. In 2007 he received the Outstanding Young Conductor award of the Association of Choral Directors of America. He has prior conducting experience with Opera Colorado, Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Edgewood Symphony, Pittsburgh Early Music Consort and Chatham Baroque, and formerly was Director of the Swallow Hill Music School.
Trustee ECO Artist Representative
Trustee, Marketing Committee Chair
Keri founded Emerald City Opera in 2002 as a non-profit corporation with the vision that it would be possible to bring world-class operatic artists to Steamboat Springs in a format that could appeal to a broad spectrum of the community. Thus she determined that the mission of the Emerald City Opera would be to promote professional opera and the vocal arts in Northwest Colorado through educational and musical opportunities in collaboration with world-class artists.
To those ends she succeeded beyond all expectations. Beginning with a few fundraising concerts performed by working professional opera singers she quickly transitioned to fully staged opera productions beginning with W. A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute in 2003, with casts of artists from major companies including the NY Metropolitan Opera. She followed with stunning staged productions of a major opera every year, including La Boheme, The Merry Widow, Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Elixir of Love, Le nozze di Figaro, and concert performances of Carmen and Die Fledemaus.
Keri’s guiding principle of Artistic Excellence has gained ECO a national reputation for outstanding professional, classical opera. Over the years she expanded its programming to include youth programs such as the Touring Opera Troupe which introduces elementary school audiences to the opera form with entertaining stories and costumes, and more familiar opera tunes. She also formed the Opera Youth Chorus to give local youth training in classical choral singing and performance. For adults Keri added the Vocal Master Class series offering singers an opportunity to work under the tutelage of visiting opera professionals. Through her extensive personal connections with U.S. and international artists, the ECO continued to offer concerts ranging from the large scale symphonic Opera Pops to intimate recitals. She also initiated the Resident Artist Spotlight Series to provide performance opportunities for talented local singers.
In 2008 Keri founded the Opera Artist Institute, a summer training program for emerging professional performers. Each year this highly successful program draws up to 75 applicants who Keri personally auditioned for 15 student spaces. Several of the participants have gone on to perform leading roles in major opera companies.
Keri informed the ECO Board of Trustees that moving on in her professional career is a decision she has been contemplating for some time: “I believe that after 14 years…as the Founder, it is best for the long term capacity of Emerald City Opera for me to step back and allow the current board, which is large enough and engaged enough at the moment for me to recuse myself, to guide the organization on its own.” She concluded: “Thank you for your service to the Arts, for your belief in Emerald City Opera, and best of luck to you as you guide the company into its next phase of existence.”
Keri poured her considerable talent, administrative skill, heart and soul into building a sustainable performing arts organization with a growing national reputation for superior quality professional productions. Several patrons rated the 2014 ECO production of Falstaff the best yet, so she leaves us on a high note (no pun intended).
Thank you Keri!
The Trustees, Advisors, friends and supporters send you best wishes for completion of your doctoral program and success in all your future endeavors.
Education & Community Outreach
Administration & Development