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(Kaneza Schaal, center, with Eva and Marc Stern. PC: Steve Cohn)

Los Angeles Opera Names Recipients of the Stern Artist Award

Conductor Louis Lohraseb, stage director Kaneza Schaal, and administrator Patricia McLeod will share a $75,000 cash prize


Los Angeles Opera recently announced that conductor Louis Lohraseb, stage director Kaneza Schaal, and administrator Patricia McLeod are the 2024 recipients of the company's Stern Artist Award.

Established in 2021, the award celebrates and supports extraordinarily gifted artists who have made important contributions to the company's artistic profile. 2024 marks the first year that administrators were considered for the prize. The three recipients will share a cash grant of $75,000.

Conductor Louis Lohraseb made his professional debut at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in 2019. From 2018 to 2020, he was part of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, where he worked closely with conductor James Conlon.

Stage director Kaneza Schaal has created two highly acclaimed new productions for LA Opera. In 2022, she directed the West Coast premiere of Omar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels. Returning in 2024, she directed William Grant Still's Highway 1, USA, in the highest-profile staging that the rarely performed opera has received to date.

Administrator Patricia McLeod has been with the LA Opera for 14 years. She is principally responsible for the largest single gift in the company's history. During her tenure, she has also helped in the strategic planning and guidance of the company’s largest campaign, which nearly tripled the organiztion's endowment.

"Over the years, Eva and I have been truly honored to get so know so many of the extraordinary artists who have created magical experiences in our theater," said donor Marc Stern. "The Stern Artist Award is a way for us to celebrate how much they mean to us, to the company and to our community."

"This award recognizes artists with strong connections to LA Opera in an expression of admiration and gratitude for both past and future contributions to the company's creative endeavors, and although the award has traditionally been given to artists, that description holds true for Patricia McLeod as well," he continued. "I am delighted to recognize the inventive and committed manner in which she has created and maintained the ideal conditions for artistic expression on our stage."


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