The Artistic Team
EXECUTIVE & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
The company was founded by Claire DiVizio, who now acts as Executive & Artistic Director. Claire began their training in music as a performer, and during their undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, discovered a particular interest in contemporary music and collaborating with living composers. Since then, as a singer they have premiered more than twenty works for the voice, including creating seven opera roles, and performed countless other existing works by living composers, both emerging and established. Claire's creation of Thompson Street Opera Company was born out of the desire to give new operas the same love, care, and respect that they gave the works as a performer.
Claire's varied background has been a great asset to the growth of the company. With training in piano and violin as well as voice, Claire comes to music with a multi-level approach that serves them well in the appraisal of new works. They have worked as an arts administrator on the Executive Board of the University of Michigan Gilbert & Sullivan Society, as a professional costumer at Michigan Opera Theatre, as a makeup artist apprentice to Dawn Rivard, as a set painter with the University of Michigan Productions shop, and as production manager with St. Petersburg Opera Company in Florida. Claire has also acted as a stage director for productions of Handel's Semele and Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, in addition to their work as a director on five productions with Thompson Street Opera Company.
Alex Enyart is a rising orchestra and opera conductor currently based in Chicago, Illinois. Her performances have received positive reviews from The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Classical Review (“Conductor Alexandra Enyart, who helmed the ensemble in Chicago Fringe Opera’s As One last season, again demonstrated why she is a podium talent to watch. She directed the lean ensemble with finesse, control, and technical grace”), Schmopera (“performed throughout the evening with sensitivity towards the singers and a unified sound"), and many others. As an active performer in Chicago, Alex has worked as a guest conductor for Chicago Fringe Opera, Another Voice Collaborative, Third Eye Theatre Ensemble, and The Chicago Vocal Arts Consortium.
2016 marked the debut of Alex’s international career with a performance with the Tomsk Philharmonic Orchestra in Russia. She has worked as an apprentice with the Louisville Orchestra and Kentucky Opera and was invited to work with Anthony Maeillo as a result of winning the 2017 CODA conducting competition. In 2018 she won the CCM Mozart Overture competition and was invited to be a member of the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion. There she works closely with Mei-Ann Chen and other talented colleagues from around the country and world as they strive to bring more diversity to the highest level of art making. She has had the privilege to work and study with Kimcherie Lloyd, Mei-Ann Chen, Joe Mechavich, Harold Farberman, Mark Gibson, Teddy Abrams, and Donald Portnoy among many others.
Because Alex believes in the importance of using music as activism, she successfully chartered “Faulty Systems”, an annual program in which activists and artists come together to share stories of underrepresented communities or ideas through music, speech, poetry, dance and other mediums. As a transgender conductor, she has a passion for gender equality and diverse gender representation in music. In October of 2017, she made her Chicago Fringe Opera conducting debut with the Chicago premiere of As One (Kaminsky, Campbell & Reed), which tells the story of a transgender protagonist during her transition. In October of 2018, she made her Third Eye Theatre conducting debut with Patience and Sarah (Kimperer & Persons), one of the first operas to tell a happy lesbian love story. Alex also works with ResonaTe, an all transgender and gender non-conforming choir in Chicago, which fosters an acceptance of all voices and identities.
The Executive Board
Sarah Thompson Johansen