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


The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board is led by Nasrin Thierer, who most recently led the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee. 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, 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.

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 January 6, 2022

Honorary Co-Chairs
Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan

Nasrin Thierer

Vice President – At Large
* Julie Baskes

Vice President – Fundraising
* John A. Nitschke

Vice President – Fundraising, Co-Chair
Salme Harju Steinberg

Vice President – Nominating
Debbie K. Wright

Vice President – Nominating, Co-Chair

David S. Fox

Vice President – Strategic Planning

Juliana Chyu

Vice President – Strategic Planning, Co-Chair

Michael A. Oberman


Gregory J. O’Leary


Julian A. Oettinger


Queta Bauer
Heidi Heutel Bohn
Amy Carbone
Tanja Chevalier
Nancy Dehmlow
* Allan Drebin
Erika E. Erich
Lafayette J. Ford
Anthony Freud
Mira J. Frohnmayer
Melvin Gray
Lynn E. Hauser
Mary Ellen Hennessy
Martha A. Hesse
Beatriz Iorgulescu
Loretta Julian
Chester T. Kamin
Michael A. Leppen
Philip Lumpkin
Erma S. Medgysey
Helen Hall Melchior
Frank B. Modruson
Cherilyn Murer
Phyllis Neiman
Susan Noel
Kenneth R. Norgan
Jane DiRenzo Pigott
Ted Reichardt
Richard O. Ryan
Richard Warren Shepro
Gay Stanek
Virginia Tobiason
Cynthia Vahlkamp
* Donna Van Eekeren
Harriet Weinstein
Jack Weiss
Joan Zajtchuk

Life Members

Katherine Abelson
Janet V. Burch
Lawrence O. Corry
Mrs. James W. Cozad
Bernard J. Dobroski
Mrs. Thomas D. Heath
* Susan R. Kiphart
Jeanne Randall Malkin
* Keith A. Reed
Mrs. William D. Staley
* William C. Vance
* Mrs. J.W. Van Gorkom
Howard A. Vaughan, Jr.

* Former President

Discover the Ryan Opera Center

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

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