San Francisco Opera Announces Staff Appointments

 Release date: 1/21/2016


San Francisco Opera Announces Staff Appointments

Barbara Rominski, Director of Archive

Matthew Erikson, Publications Editor

Director of Archive Announced.pdf  Photos Available

Following a year-long national search, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley today announced the selection of Barbara C. Rominski to be San Francisco Opera’s first-ever Director of Archive. Rominski will lead the Company’s Edward Paul Braby San Francisco Opera Archive in the new Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera, scheduled to open this spring. She joins San Francisco Opera following a thirteen-year tenure with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), one of the nation’s most prominent art museums, where she is currently Head, Research Library, Archives and Records Management. 

As San Francisco Opera’s Director of Archive, Rominski will chart the course of this nascent archive in a newly created senior staff position tasked with the responsibilities of selection, preservation and public access of San Francisco Opera’s rich and vast archival collection dating back to the Company’s founding in 1923. Rominski’s appointment is effective Monday, February 15, 2016.

David Gockley commented: “It is my great pleasure to welcome Barbara Rominski as San Francisco Opera’s Director of Archive. With this appointment, we recognize the importance and benefit of having a professional in-house division dedicated to the preservation of our history and the legacy of opera in San Francisco, which dates back to the Gold Rush days with the first opera performance in 1851 of Bellini’s La Sonnambula. I’m confident that with Barbara’s wisdom, expertise and recommendations, we will create and realize a fully professional public archive to be used and enjoyed by artists, opera scholars and researchers, teachers and students, and opera enthusiasts from around the world. It is particularly important we have this in place now as the Company begins preparations for the San Francisco Opera Centennial Season in September 2022.”

Barbara Rominski stated: "I’m honored to be joining San Francisco Opera as the Director of Archive. This historical collection is such a splendid repository representing the Company’s activities from the past 93 seasons and will continue to grow in importance and scope. It will be a pleasure to work with the entire Opera staff, along with Archive Associate Ann Farris and the fifteen dedicated archive volunteers in realizing the Archive’s potential as an integral element within the Company and the greater international opera community."    

Among her distinguished achievements at SFMOMA, Rominski established the museum’s institutional archives in 2006 and created a professional records management program in 2012. Her many credits include consultant to the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation regarding the disposition of personal, studio and foundation papers and ephemera of the artist Richard Diebenkorn; consultant to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco assessing the museum’s library collection, archives and library-related electronic resources and databases; and registrar to the Anderson Art Collection in Menlo Park, CA. Rominski’s academic training includes the M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, and a B.A. in History of Art from UC Berkeley. She is a regular panelist, presenter and moderator at regional and national conferences on archives and library science, the author of various publications and a member of The American Alliance of Museums, Art Libraries Society of North America, Special Libraries Association, the Society of American Archivists and the College Art Association.

San Francisco Opera’s Archive contains official Company records including data on the Board of Directors, six General Directors, artistic administration, the roster of international guest artists, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Chorus and Dance Corps, supernumeraries, production (scenic, costume, wig and makeup, stage management, technical staff documents along with a vast collection of costumes and scenic items); communication and marketing assets including extensive black and white, and color photography, program magazines, posters, etc.; media records distinguished by historic and contemporary radio and television broadcasts; and vital finance and development accounts.  In addition there are chronicles specific to the professional training of young artists through the San Francisco Opera Center, the Company’s robust Education Department, San Francisco Opera Guild and more. The collection has a significant and distinct online representation with the Performance Archive ( created by former publications editor Kori Lockhart, offering a complete listing of all Company performances, casts and creative teams beginning with the 1923 season. Over the past twenty-five years, part of the Company’s collection has been managed by the Museum of Performance and Design. Opening this spring, San Francisco Opera Archive will host two public exhibition galleries in the Wilsey Center for Opera of more than 150 rare production and artist photographs.

In a related announcement, Matthew Erikson, San Francisco Opera’s former Communications Manager, has been chosen as the new Publications Editor overseeing all of the Company’s editorial copy and art direction of its magazines and programs for performances at the War Memorial Opera House, Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera and other community venues and online at

Erikson joined San Francisco Opera in May 2015 after two seasons with Boston’s prestigious Handel and Haydn Society, and is the former music and dance critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Erikson’s credits include serving as radio host for “Classical Music from Aspen” for Aspen Public Radio; announcer and writer for WRR Classical 101.1 FM in Dallas; program note annotator for St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Lake Tahoe SummerFest; and as public relations manager for Arizona Opera. The Arizona native holds a Master of Music in Piano from The Hartt School of Music and a Master of Arts in Specialized Journalism from USC.

Both Rominski and Erikson are part of San Francisco Opera’s Communications Department, an administrative department comprised of three divisions: press, public relations and public affairs; publications; and archive. For more information, visit