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Artistic Director

Cuban-born conductor Lucy Arner brings to the podium a special affinity for Italian and French opera that is enhanced by her vast experience working in some of the world’s greatest opera houses such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and the Metropolitan Opera.  In the fall of 2015, she was named Music Director and Principal Conductor of New Jersey Verismo Opera, becoming the first female music director for the company. Since 2015, she has conducted La Gioconda, Rigoletto, Tosca,  Aida, Turandot and Norma to critical acclaim. She is also the Artistic Director of Canto Vocal Programs. 

​Ms. Arner was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s music staff from 1994 through the 2007-08 season.  Specializing in Italian repertory, she was featured as the recitative accompanist in productions of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Handel’s Guilio Cesare and Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore as well as preparing several Met telecasts such as Giordano’s Fedora with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo, the spectacular production by the late Anthony Minghella of Madama Butterfly, Verdi’s Macbeth, and Bellini’s I Puritani with Anna Netrebko.  She has worked with many prominent singers in operatic productions including Alfredo Kraus, Montserrat Caballé, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Aprile Millo, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn, José Carreras, Juan Pons, Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo, Giuseppe Giacomini, Sharon Sweet, June Anderson, Jane Eaglen, Anna Netrebko, Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Ben Heppner, Jennifer Larmore, Juan Diego Florez, Rockwell Blake, Paul Plishka, Olga Borodina, Dolora Zajick, Deborah Voigt, Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson.  Ms. Arner was quoted extensively about her experiences with Montserrat Caballé in the November 2002 Opera News cover article about the great Spanish soprano.

Known as “a true singer’s conductor,” Ms. Arner made her professional debut in 1996 conducting Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Menotti’s The Telephone at the Teatro Mancinelli in Orvieto, Italy. Ms. Arner has conducted opera and concerts all over the world, and was the first woman to conduct opera in Mexico City’s historic Palacio de Bellas Artes, making her debut with Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.  She was the Artistic Director of the New York Chamber Opera from 2000-2005 and was the interim Music Director of the University of Houston’s Opera Center in 2008-2009 season, conducting Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and critically acclaimed performances of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Her extensive conducting experience includes Ned Rorem’s Our Town, Pagliacci and Suor Angelica for New Zealand’s Canterbury Opera, Die Zauberflöte for the Festival Internacional Tamaulipas (Mexico), Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Ischia, Cosí fan tutte for Opera Naples, a double bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi for the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador, and Madame Butterfly, Tosca, and Il Trovatore in Lima, Perú. Ms. Arner conducted a nationally televised performance of the Verdi Requiem in Santo Domingo with the Cathedral Choir and the Orquesta Nacional. She made a sensational debut with Florida Grand Opera as the first Cuban woman to conduct an opera with the company and received the Henry C. Clark Distinguished Conductor Award for her work on Offenbach's Les Contes d’Hoffmann. 


As a pianist and coach, Ms. Arner has worked with singers of all levels. She has taught young singers in vocal arts programs all over the world, frequently presenting master classes in schools and conservatories. Currently she is on the faculty of Mannes The New School for Music and coaches privately in New York City in addition to her busy conducting schedule.  For more information visit her personal web site at


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