About the Ryan Opera Center Board

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board is led by longtime Lyric supporter, John Nitschke. Since its inception in 1974, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier professional artist development programs in the world. Each season, several current and former Ensemble members perform important roles in Lyric's mainstage productions. The Board takes great pride in helping to nurture the talents of the best emerging artists of the next generation.

Ryan Opera Center Board Members

Last updated August 16, 2019
Honorary Co-Chairs

Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan


John Nitschke

Vice President – At Large

Julie Baskes *

Vice President – At Large

Janet Burch

Vice President – Fundraising

Philip G. Lumpkin ^

Vice President – Fundraising Co-Chair

Sally Feder

Vice President – Nominating

Jane DiRenzo Pigott ^

Vice President – Nominating Co-Chair

Debbie K. Wright

Vice President – Strategic Planning

Joan Zajtchuk ^

Vice President – Strategic Planning Co-Chair

Juliana Chyu


Salme Harju Steinberg


Chester T. Kamin



Nicole M. Arnold
Heidi Heutel Bohn
Tanja Chevalier
Lawrence O. Corry
Nancy Dehmlow ^
Allan Drebin *
Erika E. Erich
Jack Forsythe
David S. Fox
Anthony Freud
Mira J. Frohnmayer
Melvin Gray
Mary Ellen Hennessy
Martha A. Hesse
Loretta Julian
Susan Kiphart *
Louise Lane
Robert C. Marks
Erma S. Medgyesy
Helen Melchior
Frank B. Modruson
Phyllis Neiman
Susan Noel
Julian Oettinger
Gregory J. O’Leary
Michael A. Oberman
Ted Reichardt ^
Richard O. Ryan
Richard W. Shepro
Nasrin Thierer
Cynthia Vahlkamp ^
Donna Van Eekeren
Harriet Weinstein
Jack Weiss


Life Members

Katherine A. Abelson *
Mrs. James W. Cozad
Bernard J. Dobroski
Mrs. Thomas D. Heath
Jeanne Randall Malkin
Keith A. Reed*
Orli Staley
William C. Vance*
Mrs. J. W. Van Gorkom*
Howard A. Vaughan, Jr.
Mrs. Richard H. Wehman


* Former President
^ Team Chair

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