Mission Statement

Opera re-imagined for changing audiences.

Out of the Box Opera upends the expectation of what opera is and what it can be.

Our vision takes opera out of its traditional settings- literally "out of the box"- and into extraordinary locations: to create exceptional, affordable entertainment for all.

Company History

Out of the Box started out as the idea to fill a beautiful space with music in celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. OOTB has grown steadily since 2016 and now features three shows in a season - Diva Cage Match™, the “Fusion Series” where opera is re-mixed with another genre of music, and a spring show showcasing an interesting venue in the Twin Cities, this year’s being “Heroes and Villains” in the A-Mill Artist Lofts.

WHO WE ARE

DAVID LEFKOWICH | Founding Artistic Director

David is a working stage director, choreographer and fight director with companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Mill City Summer Opera. Visit his website.

JIM BERMAN | Founding Producer

Jim has been a life-long opera fan and formerly served on the New Projects Committee of the Mill City Summer Opera.

NOAH EISENBERG | Founding Producer

Noah has been an active supporter of the performing arts, serving on the boards of the Mill City Summer Opera, Weisman Art Museum, Children’s Theater and Illusion Theater. 

DOMINIQUE WOOTEN EBRETSON  | Board Member

Dominique Wooten Embretson is a tenor in the Minneapolis St. Paul opera and musical theater communities. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his husband Tim and their dog Fancy Pants. He has worked with Minnesota Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Artistry Theater, Theater Latte Da, Out of the Box Opera, The Moving Company, Loft Recitals and The Good Arts Collective. Dom studied vocal performance and humanities at University of Northern Iowa (class of 11’). Dom also serves on the board of Restorative Justice Community Action. Restorative justice is an approach that focuses on the needs of the victims, the offenders and the involved communities to identify solutions that promote repair, reconciliation and rebuilding of relationships. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

SIENA FOREST | Board Member

Siena Forest is a soprano in high demand in the Twin Cities, appearing with nearly a dozen organizations this season: Out of the Box Opera, Minnesota Opera, Loft Recital, Skylark Opera, Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, Hill House Players, Mill City Summer Opera, St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, and the Lakes Area Music Festival. Originally from Massachusetts, Siena moved to Minnesota in 2014 to join Minnesota Opera’s Resident Artist Program after graduating from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Vocal Performance. Siena joined Out of the Box Opera's board in January 2019, but was there at the start as a performer in their first few events- Opera 101Love Lost Love Found, and the inaugural Diva Cage Match. She is thrilled to be a part of this powerhouse team exploring the limits of opera, while maintaining its core - thrilling singing and telling a story. Siena lives in Lakeville with her husband, Dr. Luke Williams (the music kind of doctor), and two cats. Visit her website.

NANCY SOLHAUG | Board Member

Nancy is a classical music enthusiast; her days are often accompanied by Classical MPR, the Choral Stream, and Opera at the Met. After attending Out of the Box Opera’s imaginative and lively performances, she became an avid fan. As a result, she is delighted to join this vibrant group of people who intend to encourage everyone to experience and enjoy the wonder of opera. 

KIMBERLY WALSH | Board Member

Kimberly first became involved with Out of the Box Opera as Chair of the Weisman Art Museum's Advisory Board. The first OOTBO event was held at the Weisman and she's been taken with the creativity, energy and approachability of the organization ever since.