The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board


The purpose of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board is to support the Ryan Opera Center, the artist development program of Lyric Opera of Chicago, and to support the overall operations of Lyric. 

Founded in 1978, the Ryan Opera Center Board's 60 current members take great pride in helping to nurture the talents of the best emerging artists of the next generation. The Ryan Opera Center Board produces Rising Stars in Concert and the Ryan Opera Center Gala, collectively raising over $2.5 million annually. 

Get in touch

Get in touch

Please contact the Lyric Boards Office at or 312.827.5676 for additional information regarding upcoming events.

Ryan Opera Center Board Members

Last updated October 3, 2023 

Honorary Co-Chairs
Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan

Nasrin Thierer

Vice President – Fundraising
John A. Nitschke °

Vice President – Fundraising, Co-Chair
Salme Harju Steinberg

Vice President – Nominating
David S. Fox

Vice President – Nominating, Co-Chair

Lafayette J. Ford

Vice President – Strategic Planning

Michael A. Oberman

Vice President – Strategic Planning, Co-Chair

Amy Carbone

Julian A. Oettinger

Gregory J. O’Leary


Queta Rodriguez Bauer
Heidi Heutel Bohn
Tanja Chevalier
Juliana Y. Chyu
Pamela Crutchfield
Nancy Dehmlow
Erika E. Erich
Anthony Freud
Mira J. Frohnmayer
Melvin Gray
Mary Ellen Hennessy
Beatriz Iorgulescu
Loretta Julian
Chester T. Kamin
Michael A. Leppen
Philip Lumpkin
Frank B. Modruson
Cherilyn Murer
Phyllis Neiman
Susan Noel
Kenneth R. Norgan
Jane DiRenzo Pigott
Ted Reichardt
Richard O. Ryan
Richard Warren Shepro
Ross A. Slotten
Gay Stanek
Virginia Tobiason
Cynthia Vahlkamp
Donna Van Eekeren °
Roberta L. Washlow
Harriet Weinstein
Jack Weiss
Debbie K. Wright
Joan Zajtchuck

Life Members

Katherine A. Abelson °
Julie Baskes °
Janet V. Burch
Lawrence O. Corry
Mrs. James W. Cozad
Mrs. Thomas D. Heath
Martha A. Hesse
Susan R. Kiphart °
Erma S. Medgyesy
Keith A. Reed °
Mrs. William D. Staley
William C. Vance °
Howard A. Vaughan, Jr.

° = Past President

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Learn more about The Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, alumni, audition process, and more!

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