Nancy Rhodes

(Artistic Director/Librettist), a champion of American Opera, staged the world premiere of Kirke Mechem’s Tartuffe for San Francisco Opera, Virgil Thomson’s Lord Byron at Alice Tully Hall, new operas for the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera Theatre. Internationally, she directed Death In Venice (Stockholm), Carmen (Oslo), Happy End (Finland), Kiss Me Kate (Ankara, filmed for TV), West Side Story (Istanbul), and Eccentrics, Outcasts and Visionaries: A Century of American Opera for the Holland Festival (Amsterdam). At Encompass she staged over 50 operas, including Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All, Blitzstein’s Regina, Britten’s Phaedra, and Antheil’s Transatlantic. She co-conceived/directed Only Heaven with composer Ricky Ian Gordon, with poetry by Langston Hughes. Her acclaimed production of Grigori Frid’s opera The Diary of Anne Frank toured to Cleveland Opera. As Vice President/U.S. Delegate to the International Theatre Institute, Rhodes has conducted workshops and been a guest speaker in Italy, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela, Argentina, Korea, Holland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia. In June 2004, she was invited to direct the first American musical ever staged in the country of Albania at the National Opera House and filmed for television. She is currently the commissioned librettist of The Theory of Everything, a new opera inspired by physics’ superstring theory of multiple dimensions and alternate universes.  The Soul of the American Actor refers to Nancy as "a champion of American Opera".  Read the Full Interview.


Mara Waldman

Graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a Master’s degree in piano and made her Carnegie Hall debut to critical acclaim. She was a winner in the New York Chopin Foundation Council International Auditions, the International Piano Recording Competition and recorded the solo piano music by Vittorio Rieti for Columbia Records. She made her conducting debut with the Bel Canto Opera Company and was Artistic Director of the company for two years. Ms. Waldman has been a cover conductor for the New York City Opera, and for the national tours of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Traviata. She has been a guest conductor and teacher with the New Operafestival di Roma since 1999. She has appeared with the New York Grand Opera in concerts, opera productions, and prepared the chorus for several operas in the Viva Verdi Festival in Central Park to critical acclaim. She is president of the Leschetizky Association and past president of the New York Singing Teachers’ Association. She was a coach at the AIMS program in Graz, Austria, and the Southampton Chamber Festival, and has been Music Director for the Black Hills Festival on the Arts Vocal Program.


Daniel J. De Siena

Jane Clegg
Real Estate

Barbara G. Eubanks

Tracey Katchen
Young Artist Programs and Special Events

Lynn Martindale

Nancy Rhodes

Mark Watson
Special Events, Development

Board Committee Members 2019
Frank Basile, Etty Bousso

Russell L. Lapso
Marketing, Emeritus

Barbara Bliss Mestre
Co-Chair, SecretaryEmerita

Bettye Martin Musham
Co-Chair, Emerita

Harriet Slaughter

Jean Telljohann
Co-Chair, Emerita

Lester Wigler


Daniel J. De Siena,
Casey McNamara,
Harriett Slaughter
Lynn Martindale


Advisory Board

Sheldon Harnick
John Kander
Maury Yeston


Suzy Bassani
Michael Bawtree
Pamela Drexel
Raymond L. Forsythe
Jack Gaughan
Michael Gill
Ricky Ian Gordon
Sharon Kanach
Michael A. Kerker
Sturla Lange
Tania Leon


Robert E. Levy, Esq.
Vasi Laurence
Dr. Hellmuth Matiasek
Kirke Mechem
Dorothy Olim
Sally Ordway
Murray Rosenthal
Stephen Sondheim
Guy Stern
Edward Thomas
Keith Turnbull


Founding Advisory Board

Jack Beeson (1921-2010)
Philip Campanella (1948-2005)
Martha Coigney (1933-2016)
Jean Dalrymple (1902-1998)
Lehman Engel (1910-1982)
Gene Feist (1923-2014)
Lee Hoiby (1926-2011)
June LeBell (1944-2017)
David Lloyd (1921-2013)
Arif Mardin (1932-2006)
Barbara Bliss Mestre (1939-2014)
Alwin Nikolais (1910-1993)
Tony Randall (1920-2004)
Harold Schuler (1926-2000)
Michael Stewart (1924-1987)
Virgil Thomson (1896-1989)
Robert Ward (1917-2013)


Marketing & Web Design

Deborah Love Carter
Ferwina Chua

Katy Ann Photography


In Honor & Memory of beloved
Barbara Bliss Mestre

Board Chair Emerita

Barbara Bliss Mestre was a champion of new opera-music theatre and was dedicated to creating opportunities for singers and composers.

Her distinguished service as a member of the Encompass Board of Trustees and as co-Chair Emerita, gave a vibrant presence to the artistic life of Encompass for more than 17 years.

Her experience as an international opera singer and voice teacher gave her an important and vital perspective which she brought to everything she did at Encompass. She was a cherished friend and mentor, and we are deeply grateful for her wise and loving guidance all through the years. We will miss her greatly.

Encompass is gratefully accepting donations in honor of
Barbara Bliss Mestre for development of new opera and singers.