Leadership

Zachary Gordin
Artistic Director

Praised for his “arresting musical insights” and a voice that is “commanding and intense without ever descending into coarseness” (The Seattle Times), Zachary Gordin has been active in many facets of the Classical Music industry. He has established himself as a lead soloist, collaborative pianist, conductor, producer, artist mentor, and consultant; training singers who perform in some of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls.

His debut disc: Amour sans ailes – Songs of Reynaldo Hahn on the MSR Classics label was named “Best Lieder Recording of 2017” by Voix des Arts, and American Record Guide states: “I’ve appreciated Hahn’s songs since I first discovered them a decade ago and never more than here; Gordin’s singing is so intoxicating that I could hardly stop listening.” On the operatic stage Gordin is well known for his performances of Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, a role that won him critical acclaim when he premiered it at Dayton Opera in 2015. Reviewers praised his “vocal power” as well as his demonstrative portrayal of the “enigmatic character” (The Oakwood Register). Other major roles include Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Escamillo in Carmen, Silvio in Pagliacci, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Germont in La traviata. A veteran of the concert and recital stage, Gordin’s recent engagements include performances with San Francisco Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, YOSA Philharmonic, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Olympic Music Festival, Bakersfield Symphony, and many others. Some of his notable concert repertoire includes Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Songs of a Wayfarer, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem, Bach’s Cantata #82: Ich habe genug, and Handel’s Messiah. However, Orff’s Carmina Burana has become a signature piece for Gordin, who has performed the work numerous times to great praise. Maestro Michael Morgan of the Oakland Symphony wrote that Gordin is “the ideal baritone for Carmina Burana… the best singing of the high, sensual music that I have ever heard. This is as good a rendering of those solos as one is ever likely to encounter.”

During his early childhood, he was inspired by his Great-Grandfather, an organist, and began training as a pianist at a young age. His commitment to education makes him an effective, results-driven voice trainer. He serves as Artistic Director of Festival Opera, is on the voice faculty of Sonoma State University, serves as a judge for regional and national voice competitions, and frequently gives master classes at some of the country’s most renowned opera companies and schools. Gordin is also widely recognized as a frequent presence on Barihunks, a site dedicated to physically fit and vocally gifted operatic baritones from around the globe.



Eman Isadiar

Executive Director

Eman Isadiar was appointed as Executive Director of Festival Opera in January 2019. He has served as Executive Director of the Bear Valley Music Festival, Fremont Symphony Orchestra, El Camino Youth Symphony, Golden State Youth Orchestra and Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley, and is credited for artistic and financial growth at multiple institutions. In addition, he has been a key collaborator in several opera and ballet productions in the Bay Area. He has been a faculty member at Community Music Center in San Francisco, where he taught music to underserved children, and has also taught music as a bilingual instructor at the Lycée Français de San Francisco. After receiving his higher education in Piano Performance in San Francisco and Paris, Eman lived for a time in French Polynesia, where he helped launch the first-ever young artist competition, Les Clés d’or, on the island of Tahiti.