Ana De Archuleta: Women’s Opera Network Spotlight
Ana De Archuleta
ADA Artist Management
Time in Current Position
Years Working Professionally in the Field
What was your career path to your current position?
My bachelor’s degree is in telecommunications, and while pursuing that degree, I followed my personal interests and studied vocal performance at the Puerto Rico Conservatory. During that time, I took part in the local professional opera choruses and also worked as an assistant director and stage manager. In addition, I owned a small jewelry store while pursuing my undergraduate degree. My vocal studies having shown promise, I left Puerto Rico to pursue a Master of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati in vocal performance, which set me on an opera career trajectory. I participated in several young artists programs, including those of Minnesota Opera and Orlando Opera, and was graciously awarded prizes in several competitions. After a few years singing as a professional, I realized my true passion was on the business side of opera, and I made the leap into opera management.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve overcome on that path?
I believe credibility and trust are earned. It has taken me 12 years to get where I am. Though I don’t believe being young, Hispanic and a woman necessarily got in my way, it certainly didn’t help. I believe I encounter the same obstacles as anyone who is trying to make their own path in the very established opera world. That said, it is highly rewarding to see the impact my artists have in this business.
Who was your greatest advocate or mentor?
Floyd Anderson and Dale Johnson from Minnesota Opera provided excellent guidance when I was a young artist. I still go to them for counsel. Janice Meyer was also a huge inspiration. A talk she gave at CCM when I was a student planted the seed that this career could be an option for me.
What is the best piece of advice you would offer someone at the start of her/his career?
- Research, read and learn all about your industry.
- Don’t be afraid of not knowing something. Just go and find the information.
- Follow your instincts.
- Surround yourself with a GREAT team that will complement your abilities.
- Go for quality over quantity.
- Don’t let the money or lack of money drive you.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
What are the essential traits necessary in a good leader?
- Confidence backed by true knowledge and acceptance of the unknown.
- Understanding that we can’t control everything. Humility.
- Talent recognition; not only in our industry, but in all industries.
- Communication: True leaders share their vision and strategy often with those around them.