Henry Fogel, dean of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA), is known nationally for efforts to promote classical music, including opera.
The former president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, former CEO of the League of American Orchestras and dean of Roosevelt’s CCPA since 2009, Fogel received recognition earlier this year as one of four trustees across the country honored by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera.
Nominated for the honor by Chicago Opera Theater (COT), where Fogel sits on the board and is its past president, the Roosevelt performing arts administrator is being recognized for helping to shape COT into one of the most dynamic opera houses in America.
“Henry Fogel’s leadership and guidance have been crucial to COT’s strategic development and positioning as an innovative institution where new opera and young artists are thriving,” said Doug Clayton, COT’s Edlis Neeson general director.
As COT’s president from 2013-17 and a seven-year COT board member, Fogel has been instrumental in recruiting new leadership to COT, which is now celebrating its 45th season. The CCPA dean presided over the selection of Clayton as well as the search committee for its new music director, Lydia Yankovskaya. She is the only woman to currently hold the title of music director in the top 50 American opera houses.
Fogel also has led strategic planning efforts at COT, which have resulted in stable financial footing at the company as well as refinements to the artistic vision, with an increasing focus on Chicago premieres and new works.
“I am honored to be recognized by COT on both a local and national level,” said Fogel. He was the guest of honor at COT’s Gala Celebration on April 22 at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.
“We can’t say enough about Dean Fogel’s contributions that have both furthered COT’s mission and have helped launch the organization into the future,” added Clayton.
CCPA and COT currently offer a Professional Diploma in Opera Program, providing valuable professional training and experience to more than 50 promising young artists since the program began in 2004. The two-year diploma program includes classroom training and lessons at Roosevelt, as well as professional experience on stage in COT productions.
One of Fogel’s major goals as a COT board member has been to make the program more competitive for applicants as well as more cutting edge in training and performances, with recruitment efforts focused on attracting top promising young opera talent from across the country.
Beginning in the fall, the CCPA-COT program kicks off annual recruitment for four young singers and a pianist who exhibit a strong interest and talent in developing and performing new works of opera. Young artists selected for the program also for the first time will receive stipends to help pay living expenses, potentially increasing the interest of high-caliber program applicants.
“We are entering a new golden age of opera. There are more composers and librettists than ever before, as well as new audiences that have a growing appetite for new and more contemporary works that are relevant to today’s issues and times,” said Fogel.
“I can think of no better organization than COT to take on this mantle,” added Fogel. “I envision its Young Artists Program, in partnership with CCPA, becoming one of the finest programs of its kind in the country.”