Modesto native Erik Buck Townsend founded Townsend Opera in 1983. A graduate of Modesto High School, he had a successful international career as an opera singer before returning to his hometown to follow his passion. Buck worked tirelessly to lead the company for 25 years, often directing, conducting or singing in performances, building sets, and organizing costumes.
With the appointment of Roy Stevens as our new General & Artistic Director in this, our 35th season, the Board of Directors hopes to continue the legacy of founder, Buck Townsend, by delivering traditional operas, contemporary works, intimate concerts, and other exciting musical events to our community and region.
Roy Stevens, Annalisa Winberg, and Ryan Murray, our Artistic Leadership Team, have made a serious commitment to the expansion of Opera Modesto’s educational programs for serious, young classical vocal artists; and is busy developing exciting programming and events, as well as a new vision for the company that will serve Opera Modesto, its followers and supporters, and all the opera lovers in our community and the region for many seasons to come.