General & Artistic Director
Brian Asher Alhadeff
It's an incredible honor both as a conductor, and as a native Southern Californian to be part of the great tradition of Opera San Luis Obispo. Nestled right in-between the two largest cities in California (San Francisco and Los Angeles), in the heart of wine country, footsteps from some of the most beautiful beaches and mountain ranges, San Luis Obispo is the perfect setting for opera and a truly magical place for classical performing arts.
My interests lie in expanding global awareness of opera through large-scale civic collaborations. Opera is the Olympics of Classical Music — it's where all classical arts converge together on one stage: orchestra, ballet, chorus, soloist, acting, and the design arts of lighting, costume, makeup, and set. Opera is unique in that it is the performance genre responsible for uniting the greatest number of independent artistic forces on one stage at the same time. Where grand opera exists, classical arts thrive! San Luis Obispo is a thriving melting pot for classical arts in which a rich family of instrumentalists, singers, dancers, and visual artists cross-populate several larger arts ensembles. These inter-artistic relationships are abundant between vocalists and choruses, dancers and dance companies, stage personnel and concert halls, and instrumentalists and orchestras. I believe the power of collaboration is the new frontier for not only opera, but for all classical arts. When complimentary arts organizations hold hands and work together, creative forces merge, new collaborative marketing and performance platforms are created - in essence, the planets align and produce extraordinary outcomes. Welcome to Opera San Luis Obispo!
Artistic Director BRIAN ASHER ALHADEFF is an internationally acclaimed opera, ballet, and symphonic, conductor. In the Czech Republic, he was Artistic Director and founder of the Hradec Kralove International Summer Opera Festival that partnered with the Eastern Bohemian Philharmonic and the Czech State Opera and Ballet. In 2010, Alhadeff guest conducted the Albanian National Radio and Television Orchestra in a nation-wide broadcast that included the Albanian premiere of American composer Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 2 The Romantic. In addition to his work with Opera San Luis Obispo, Alhadeff is also Artistic Director & Conductor of the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, and Principal Conductor for Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, and State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara.
Alhadeff was Associate Conductor of the Beverly Hills Symphony in addition to Principal Conductor for Ballet Tucson and BRAVA Ballet Arts of Riverside California. Guest conducting highlights include Tulsa Ballet, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Karlove Vary Sinfonie, San Luis Obispo Symphony, UCLA Opera Program, South Florida Opera Company, Eastern Sierra Symphony, Bourgas State Opera, Rio Hondo Symphony, Long Beach Opera, Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco, California State University Los Angeles Opera Theater, California Polytechnic State University Opera Theater Workshop, and Grand Valley State University (MI) Opera, Ballet and Musical Theater. Alhadeff is in demand as a pianist, lecturer and arts presenter throughout the United States and abroad. He has served on the vocal and conducting faculty for Symphonic Workshops LTD International Opera Workshops, and as a university professor, he has guest lectured at numerous colleges and universities as well as served on the faculties of La Sierra University (CA), and Grand Valley State University (MI). He focuses on inspiring all ages and backgrounds through an original, dynamic style of performance education that combines live lectures with seamlessly integrated video projection of a variety of multimedia.
Alhadeff studied conducting at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, MD, and the Janáček Academy in Brno, Czech Republic. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles), a Masters of Music from California State University of Los Angeles, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Off the stage, Brian enjoys tennis, mountain biking, gardening, and celebrating the amazing wines of the Central Coast. He lives in Templeton with his wife Luana, and two children Éva and Noah.