WILMINGTON, Del. – OperaDelaware today announced two new staff additions as the 2016-2017 season begins—a critically acclaimed tenor who has delighted audiences worldwide will join as Development Associate, and a diverse musician with strong arts administration experience will serve as the Assistant to the General Director. Both are newly created positions.

Ryan MacPherson, 42, will transition into arts management this October, joining OperaDelaware as the company’s new Development Associate. Prior to this appointment, MacPherson enjoyed a twenty-year career as a highly respected tenor. He sang with the New York City Opera, The Opéra National de Paris - Bastille, Teatro Real - Madrid, Opera Nice - Côte d'Azur, Wiener Konzerthaus, at Carnegie Hall and Dublin's National Concert Hall, with England's Buxton Festival, as well with as many regional companies here in North America. At OperaDelaware, he won the roles of Fenton in Falstaff, Gérald in Lakmé, and sang in many studio concerts. MacPherson earned a Bachelor of Educational Studies in Music from the University of Missouri-Columbia, as well as a Master of Music in Opera and Artist Diploma, both from Yale University.

“When Ryan expressed interest in exploring a career in arts management, I felt like we had just won the lottery,” said OperaDelaware General Director Brendan Cooke. “Audiences have long been delighted by Ryan’s magnificent tenor voice, and now he brings his wit, intellect, and passion for opera to Wilmington. There are few who can articulate our mission to audiences, donors, and friends better than Ryan.”

MacPherson begins his new role with OperaDelaware in late October. He will assume many of the development and fundraising duties held by former Managing Director Jason Hardy, who has accepted a position as Development Director with Opera Memphis. MacPherson will relocate to Wilmington with his wife, Soprano Sharin Apostolou, who is also a favorite among OperaDelaware patrons.

"OperaDelaware respects the musicians, the art, and its discerning audience,” MacPherson said. “The world-class product offered onstage and behind-the-scenes camaraderie brought me back to Wilmington again and again. When considering this new chapter in my career, I sought a company that energizes and excites me—a company I believe in. I've found that with OperaDelaware, and I couldn't be happier."

Brenton O’Hara, 25, also has joined OperaDelaware as Assistant to the General Director, effective Sept. 2016. In addition to holding degrees in Music from the University of South Carolina and East Carolina University, O’Hara has studied business analytics, economics for managers, and financial accounting. Prior to joining OperaDelaware, O’Hara worked as a production intern for Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. He has also served as Patron Services Assistant for Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Brenton O’Hara has the right combination of music education and business and financial acumen that makes him an excellent addition to our staff. We welcome his knowledge, energy, experience, and can-do approach to our small but mighty team, and are delighted to have him aboard,” Cooke said. "The success of last year's festival coupled with the departure of our managing director has allowed us the opportunity to begin a smart and measured expansion of our administrative staff," added Cooke. "Although we are sad to see Jason Hardy leave our team, we are excited for his new opportunity at Opera Memphis, and we are delighted that we were able to secure two dynamic individuals to help us propel our mission forward. I expect great things in the years ahead!"

OperaDelaware’s 2017 Festival, a celebration of the 225th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini's birth, will feature Cinderella (La Cenerentola) and his rarely-performed tragedy, Semiramide—both at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. For more information on the Festival and OperaDelaware’s full 2016-2017 season, go to

Operadelaware's ryan Macpherson (left) and brenton O'hara (right)

Operadelaware's ryan Macpherson (left) and brenton O'hara (right)


OperaDelaware celebrates its 72nd season in 2016-2017. OperaDelaware is the nation's 11th oldest professional opera company. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people in the Mid-Atlantic region through meaningful arts education and the production of grand opera and intimate opera concerts, featuring established professional and emerging talent.

Media relations
Press contact: For interview requests, please email us at or call 302-658-8063.

Organizational images: Available for download here

Advertising inquiries: For advertising and sponsorship information, please contact Mary Wilcosky at
Get the latest on OD events, tickets & more. Sign up for our mailing lists.
4 S. Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

BOX OFFICE 302-442-7807