(Los Angeles) November 9, 2023 — LA Opera is proud to announce that five new members have joined the company's board of directors. Monique Kagan, Gary W. Murphy, Tina Segel, Mimi Won Techentin and Joakim Zetterberg were elected at recent board meetings.
"After the triumphant first two productions of our new season, it's an auspicious time to welcome our newest board members," said Keith R. Leonard, Jr., chairman of LA Opera's board of directors. "They have joined a dedicated team of community leaders committed to moving the art form we love forward. We are excited to channel their talents, expertise and creative energies into invigorating our mission of creating unforgettable opera experiences for our audiences and for our community."
A Los Angeles native, Monique Kagan has a B.A. in political science from UCLA and a J.D. from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Her work experience includes working on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for both Joseph Biden and Howell Heflin. In law school, she chaired the Students for Public Interest Law Club and worked at Catholic University’s Legal Aid Clinic, the D.C. Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, and San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Services. After law school, she received a fellowship working for public council in Los Angeles. She then worked for the L.A. City Council where she was chief legislative deputy for Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and chief of staff to Councilmember Alex Padilla. With two young sons, she retired to focus her efforts on family. She volunteered with the Cheviot Hills Homeowner’s Association and was president of her sons' elementary school parent association. She and her husband have been co-chairs of the Philharmonic Council of the LA Philharmonic.
Gary W. Murphy
Gary W. Murphy is president and CEO of the Opera League of Los Angeles, the primary volunteer support organization for LA Opera. A performing arts public relations specialist for over three decades, he served as LA Opera’s first director of public relations for 15 years. During that time, he created and implemented strategic press campaigns for more than 100 opera productions, including six world premieres, three U.S. premieres and LA Opera’s first ever Ring cycle. Other clients in greater Los Angeles have included the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) at CSUN, Northridge; the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) in Beverly Hills; the Ojai Music Festival; LA Master Chorale; The Music Center’s Blue Ribbon; California Institute for the Arts; Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theatre; and the Geffen Playhouse, where he served as the new organization’s public relations director for its first five years as a resident professional theater company. A New York native, he resides in Santa Monica with his husband, Jason La Padura.
Tina Segel's family was very involved with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of Eugene Ormandy, whom Tina had the privilege of calling "Uncle Eugene." Working at KMIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Palm Springs, she wore multiple hats as reporter, anchor, news director and host of Coachella Valley Crime Stoppers. After marrying in 1991, she moved to San Francisco and then to London where her three children were born and raised. In 2008, they returned to the U.S. She is a board member of Beirut's Haigazian University, founded by her grandfather, Stephen Philibosian. She also sits on the committee of the Armenian Missionary Association of America’s Child Care Organization. She fell in love with opera as a child through the Saturday morning live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera and was a supporter of the Royal Opera House in London, serving on multiple committees for fundraising events. Her family’s support of LA Opera through The Stephen Philibosian and Conte Foundations have allowed her to participate in the Armenian Consortium, created by her mother, Joyce Stein.
Mimi Won Techentin
Writer Mimi Won Techentin has written and produced a dozen dramas on Netflix, ABC, NBC, and CBS. She is currently developing multiple projects, on which she will be writer and showrunner. In the nonprofit space, she served as a director and president of the board of a homeless center for youth, My Friend’s Place, in Hollywood. She also served as a director and president of the board overseeing the Abbot Academy Fund at Phillips Academy Andover. Currently, she is involved with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Married to architect Warren Techentin, FAIA, principal of his architecture firm and professor at USC – they have two children, whom they regularly bring to the Music Center.
In 1992, Joakim (Jay) Zetterberg attended his first opera—The Magic Flute in Stockholm—and it was love at first sight. He moved from his native Sweden to L.A. in 2004 to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He started in communications, then quickly delved into the creative side with product development of consumer products such as comic books, toys, video games and specialty items like collectible figurines and replica movie props. He is executive vice president at Heroic Signatures, which owns and develops intellectual properties in all media. In addition to overseeing merchandising and licensing, he is editor-in-chief for the book and comics publishing division. This includes a 15-year stint overseeing the best-selling and award-winning Conan the Barbarian international publishing program. He recently celebrated seeing his 100th production at LA Opera, has attended the Bayreuth Festival several times, and is a world traveler who enjoys walking off good food and wine with a hike to the nearest mountaintop.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.
In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at LAOpera.org.
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