From Development server
22 September 2015

Matthew Shilvock Named as San Francisco Opera's Next General Director, Succeeding David Gockley at Company's Helm

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San Francisco Opera announced today that Matthew Shilvock, currently the company’s associate general director, has been promoted to its highest position, becoming the seventh general director in SFO’s history. Shilvock will succeed David Gockley when he retires in July 2016. 

The announcement of Shilvock’s appointment was made today at a press conference by San Francisco Opera’s president Keith Geeslin, board chairman John Gunn and search committee chairman and board treasurer Steven Menzies. Shilvock’s nomination was confirmed by the company’s board of directors on Friday, September 18, and his appointment concludes a ten-month, international search that was led by a committee of thirteen board members.

“We consulted with numerous industry leaders who offered important advice before casting a wide net in our search for the next director,” said Geeslin. “Ultimately, we all agreed that Matthew was the ideal candidate. He understands this company’s complex operations, has strong artistic and management credentials and is perfectly positioned to build upon the success of David Gockley’s tenure. I am confident that promoting a young leader with great skills and passion for opera from within our company is the right decision. San Francisco Opera is forward-thinking, boldly innovative, creative and inclusive, and no one better than Matthew embodies those ideals.”

Shilvock's contract, which commences on August 1, 2016, initially covers a five-year term through July 2021. 

“It is indeed a humbling invitation," Shilvock said in a statement released today by the company, "but one I recognize as a great privilege and honor following the legacy of the extraordinary six directors who have led this organization over its storied history.”

Born in Kidderminster, England, and educated at Oxford — where he studied music performance and history — Shilvock holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with a specialization in nonprofit administration. He arrived at San Francisco Opera in 2005 as part of David Gockley’s transition team and, since 2010, has served as the company’s associate general director, overseeing SFO’s music operations, electronic media, the company’s artist training programs and the rehearsal department; he also currently operates as the company’s interim director of development. 

Shilvock began his professional career in opera as a fellow with OPERA America in 2002, before moving on to assignments at Pittsburgh Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Glimmerglass opera. In 2003, Gockley invited Shilvock back to HGO to serve as the general director’s liaison. Since joining San Francisco Opera, Shilvock has spearheaded several of Gockley’s signature efforts, including the media and educational programs that have raised the company’s national and international prominence. Shilvock was responsible for negotiating the media-rights framework that allowed SFO to release recordings of its productions on home video, television and the internet, and he managed the development of its  free simulcast program that has engaged audiences at AT&T Park and other civic and cultural venues in the Bay Area. Additionally, Shilvock has served as San Francisco Opera’s lead negotiator with both the American Guild of Musical Artists and the American Federations of Musicians, working with both unions to realize significant annual savings; during his time at San Francisco Opera, Shilvock has worked with Gockley and the company’s board of directors and senior executive team to instigate frameworks to stabilize the company’s finances. spacer 

More information can be found at San Francisco Opera

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