Management & Staff

Dennis Hanthorn

Dennis Hanthorn, General Director

Dennis Hanthorn has more than 30-years of experience in the performing arts industry and a history of building companies in Atlanta, Milwaukee, and Dayton. During his career, total fundraising dollars have reached $75 million. His professional experience includes providing leadership and guiding vision in arts administration; stewarding fundraising, fiscal management, strategic planning, organizational development, and board governance; and providing artistic direction by mounting quality artistic productions with a proven track record in identifying new local, national and international talent.
Dennis has worked in Atlanta for eight years and most recently served as General Director & CEO for The Atlanta Opera, where he is credited with increasing the artistic production quality in all areas and surviving financial challenges before and after the recession. During his tenure, total fundraising reached $35 million-the endowment grew to $6 million, the organization established a working cash reserve, and the company secured a $9.4 million bequest for annual and endowment support. Additionally, he moved all opera performances to the newly constructed Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and increased season ticket sales by 120% in the first two seasons in the new facility. Artistic highlights include a European tour with The Atlanta Opera Chorus performing Porgy and Bess at Opéra-Comique in Paris, Granada, Normandy, and Luxembourg; the CD recording of a full- length opera of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket; and the Public Radio broadcast of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Entfuhrüng aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio).
Prior to joining The Atlanta Opera, Dennis was General Director for 15 years for the Milwaukee Florentine Opera Company and launched the largest and most successful fundraising campaign for expanded artistic and educational programming with a goal of $10 million. Mainstage opera performances averaged an over- all 95% capacity. During his tenure, the company presented the American premiere and the National Public Radio Broadcast of Lowell Liebermann’s The Picture of Dorian Gray for Milwaukee Public Television, Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), and Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos), presented Luciano Pavarotti in concert, Jose Carreras in recital, and presented and co- produced opera productions with the Michigan Opera Theatre while managing the Dayton Opera Association.
Dennis has served on the Board of Directors of OPERA America where he served as Secretary of the Board, chaired the membership committee, and consulted for international and national opera companies. He served as an adjudicator for the District and Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Belvedere International Singing Competition, the MacAllister Awards, and served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan and the Wisconsin Arts Boards.
In higher education, Dennis has completed postgraduate studies in Arts Administration and Music Performance from the University of Cincinnati-CCM; earned a Master of Music, Music Performance in French horn from the University of Wisconsin; and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education K-12 from Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri.
Dennis and his wife, Rebecca, have three grown children. In his spare time, Dennis likes traveling with family, cuisine, reading, professional sports, and listening to classical music.

Maestro Ramón Tebar

Maestro Ramón Tebar, Artistic Director

Acclaimed for his musical versatility, compelling interpretations and orchestra building skills, conductor Ramón Tebar’s international reputation continues to expand. Considered one of the leading Spanish conductors of his generation, Tebar begins his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of Spain’s Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia this fall 2015, where he will lead both opera productions and orchestral concerts. Mr. Tebar has the distinction of being the first Spanish conductor to be appointed Music Director of an American opera company, the Florida Grand Opera (FGO); he continues his long-term relationship with FGO as Principal Conductor; and serves as Artistic Director of Opera Naples. A popular guest conductor worldwide in both the orchestral and opera arenas, Mr. Tebar also serves as Artistic Director of Florida’s Palm Beach Symphony and as Music Director of the Dominican Republic’s biannual Festival Musical de Santo Domingo.

Following summer engagements that include leading Puccini’s Turandot for Cincinnati Opera, and an all-Beethoven concert at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Mr. Tebar’s 2015-2016 season, in addition to his engagements with Florida Grand Opera and Opera Naples, features his official debut as Principal Guest Conductor of Spain’s Palau de Les Arts Reina Sofia, leading a production of Verdi’s Aida and a special concert performance of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Guest engagements include the Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona and soloist Joshua Bell, the Malaysian Philharmonic and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, The Netherlands Het Gelders Orkest, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra with tenor Joseph Calleja, and Spain’s Oviedo Filarmonica, as well as leading subscription concerts with Palm Beach Symphony. Future engagements include a rarely performed in Spain concert version of Bernstein’s West Side Story with baritone Leo Nucci at Festival de Opera de A Coruña, and a production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, also with Mr. Nucci, in Las Palmas.

Born in Valencia, Spain, Ramón Tebar began working as a pianist and Assistant Conductor in his hometown at the age of fifteen. He served as Assistant Conductor with the Youth National Orchestra of Spain (Joven Orquesta Nacional de Espana, JONDE), and in the meantime, he graduated with honors in his hometown Conservatory: Special Honor Awards in Piano and Chamber Music Degrees; the Barenreiter Prize; Special Prize in the Musical Youth of Spain Competition; Medaille d´Honneur “Villa de Claira” (France) and an Award at the III International Conducting Competition “Luigi Mancinelli” (Italy). Since his arrival in the US in 2005, he has been part of the musical staff of Palm Beach Opera and Cincinnati Opera, working in around 40 opera productions. Maestro Tebar has been honored twice with the Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award by Florida Grand Opera (2010, 2013), and in 2014 was featured by the Miami Herald as “Top 20 under 40″, by the Spanish journal ABC among “Ten International Spanish Conductors”, and by Marca Espana among the most successful international Spanish talents in “100 espanoles”. In 2014, Ramón Tebar received his highest honor to date: His Majesty, the King of Spain Felipe VI, granted Tebar the Cross of Office of the Order of Mérito Civil in recognition of his cultural accomplishments.

Robin Shuford Frank

Robin Shuford Frank, Music Administration, Chorus Master, Educational Outreach Director

Robin Shuford Frank is Chorus Master, Music Administrator, and Director of Educational Outreach for Opera Naples, for which she also serves as Musical Director for youth productions. She engages Southwest Florida’s youth through the company’s Student Apprentice Program, community outreach performances, Elementary In-School Tours, and Young Artist Program. An accomplished pianist, she serves as the rehearsal pianist for Opera Naples’ main productions as well as the pianist for community concerts and events. As chorus master, she prepares the adult and children’s choruses for all productions in which they appear. She is also the company’s orchestra personnel manager and librarian. Aside from her work with Opera Naples, Frank is the accompanist for The Festival Singers of Florida and also frequently performs with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and The Naples Players. She is a frequently sought guest accompanist for choral festivals around the country.

Prior to moving to Naples, Frank was an Adjunct Professor at Palm Beach Atlantic University, a rehearsal pianist for Palm Beach Opera, an Artist in Residence for Bak Middle School of the Arts, and a Pianist/Coach for Opera New Jersey. Frank has been an Adjunct Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University in the Bower School of Music since 2009. She has a Masters degree from Westminster Choir College in Accompanying and Vocal Coaching and a Bachelors degree in Music Education from The Florida State University.

leah summers

Leah Summers, Artistic Coordinator

Leah has appeared extensively throughout Europe and the US. She has performed leading roles at the Vienna Staatsoper, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, New Jersey Opera, Opera Colorado, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Naples, Pittsburgh Opera, Juilliard Opera Center, Opera Orchestra of New York with Eve Queller at Carnegie Hall. A soloist the with NY Chamber Orchestra, the Ensemble Musica Sacra in Salzburg, Austria, the Naples Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, National Orchestra of the Ukraine, the Tanglewood Music Festival Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the New York Festival of Song and Music Niagara in Canada. She has recorded Mahler’s 8th Symphony with the Dallas Symphony (Delos) and solo songs by Stephan Volpe (Bridge Records). A recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Vienna, Austria, a Herbert von Karajan grant from the Vienna Staatsoper, a William Matheus Sullivan career grant and a finalist of the Richard Tucker Foundation Awards. She holds degrees from the University of Miami and the Juilliard School in NYC.

Signe Larson

Signe Larson, Development Assistant, Office Manager