San Francisco Opera Board Member Annette Campbell-White Honored for Philanthropy at International Opera Awards

Release date: 4/9/2018    


International Opera Awards honor Annette Campbell-White.pdf  Photos Available

Arts advocate and San Francisco Opera board member Annette Campbell-White was honored at the sixth annual International Opera Awards (IOA) in London for her lifelong commitment to opera and support of young artists and the performing arts. At the black-tie ceremony held at the London Coliseum on April 9, Campbell-White was presented with the 2018 International Opera Award for Philanthropy. The event, sponsored by British accounting firm Mazars in association with BBC Radio 3 and Opera magazine, also included awards for Female Singer, Male Singer, Readers’ Choice, Lifetime Achievement, Recording, among other categories.

According to IOA producers, the winners of the Opera Awards—opera’s equivalent to the Oscars—were selected by an international jury chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine and classical music critic with The Daily Telegraph, from over 100 finalists representing six continents and 30 countries.

“I am delighted and honored by this unexpected recognition,” said Campbell-White. “In giving me this award, the International Opera Awards has shown that it understands that the practice of philanthropy is not just the domain of the exceedingly wealthy. Anyone can be a philanthropist; give what you can and do what you can, but with enthusiasm and commitment.”

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock commented: “Annette brings an amazingly nuanced understanding to our art form. She is passionately dedicated to supporting artists and the artistic process. In my opinion, Annette exemplifies how personal, impactful and mutually uplifting the relationship between artist and philanthropist can be and she has brought that spirit of collaboration to arts organizations across the world.”

Widely recognized as a pioneer for women in the male-dominated world of venture capital investment, Campbell-White was Founder and Senior Managing Partner of MedVenture Associates, a biomedical venture capital firm, from 1986 until her retirement in December 2015. Her support of the arts is equally distinguished; Campbell-White is a member of the board of directors of San Francisco Opera and the advisory board of Garsington Opera and serves with other leading institutions including Cal Performances, The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin and Wikipedia.

A native of New Zealand, Campbell-White founded the Kia Ora Foundation in 1997 to help shape New Zealand’s musical, artistic and creative landscape through higher education and global opportunities. The Foundation’s scholarships and special grants have contributed to the careers of many emerging and established New Zealand artists, including tenors Pene Pati, Amitai Pati and Simon O’Neill; soprano Amina Edris; baritone Hadleigh Adams; and bass Jonathan Lemalu, all of whom have performed with San Francisco Opera. In collaboration with her husband, Dr. Ruediger Naumann-Etienne, Campbell-White has sponsored San Francisco Opera performances since 1995.

The recipients of 2018 Opera Awards include Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza who was presented with the award for Lifetime Achievement. Known throughout the operatic world for her unforgettable portrayals on the stage and her historic recordings, Berganza made her San Francisco Opera debut as Rosina on September 14, 1968 in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and also starred in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Bizet’s Carmen with the Company through 1981. The San Francisco Opera Chorus was nominated in the Chorus category (the award was won by MusicAeterna). IOA winners also included San Francisco Opera artists, Swedish soprano Malin Byström (Female Singer) and Polish tenor Piotr Beczała (Male Singer), along with Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski, Polish director Mariusz Treliński and South African soprano Pretty Yende. 

Businessman and philanthropist Harry Hyman founded the International Opera Awards in 2012 to celebrate opera’s established stars and support the next generation of talent. Winners in each category except the Readers’ Award (which is open to voting by the general public) are chosen by a select jury of international industry members.

*For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.