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Fort Lee Verismo Opera Names First Female Conductor, Music Director

The Verismo Opera has named Lucy Arner music director and principal conductor of its orchestra. Verismo is headquartered in Fort Lee, and is the house opera company for Bergen PAC. Photo Credit: Pierre-Etienne Bergeron
Lucy Amer will debut as conductor and music director of Fort Lee's Verismo Opera at Bergen PAC in April with La Giaconda. Photo Credit: Giovanni Simone

FORT LEE, N.J. -- The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera in Fort Lee announced on Monday that Lucy Arner has been named the company's first female music director and principal conductor.

Arner is among the first female music directors and conductors in the United States.

The nonprofit opera company selected Arner after a search earlier this fall. She succeeds Maestro Anthony Morss, who is retiring at the end of this season.

Arner will debut with Verismo Opera in its premiere of Amilcare Ponchielli's "La Gioconda" in April 2016.

"We are thrilled to welcome Maestra Arner," Verismo Opera Artistic Director Lucine Amara said. "She is a master pianist, coach and conductor. We embrace her into the Verismo Opera family with open arms and hearts."

Born in Santiago de Cuba, Arner is known for her understanding of Italian and French operas. She has worked with several leading opera houses, including the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain and The Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Arner served on the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff from 1994 through the 2007-2008 season as the recitative accompanist in productions including "Il Barbiere di Siviglia" and "L’Elisir d’Amore." 

She prepared several Met telecasts such as Giordano’s Fedora with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo. Among the prominent singers she has worked with are Alfredo Kraus, Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, José Carreras and Placido Domingo.

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