Richard B. Gibson
Founder/ President/ General Director
Richard is a South African immigrant who landed in Kansas City, MO. In 1999 he graduated from high school Summa Cum Laude in music. Twelve days after his graduation he went to boot camp at MCRD Sand Diego for the United States Marine Corps. For his duty he served as an anti-terrorism expert in a Security Forces unit in Manama, Bahrain. Then he was sent to Camp Pendelton and found himself in an infantry unit with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, more famously known as the Dark Horse Battalion. In 2003 he invaded Iraq with them and earned his Combat Action Ribbon and a Presidential Unit Citation.
Upon his return from Iraq, he focused his life on singing opera. Within 2 years of study, he was a paid professional singing with the chorus at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. In 2014, when the Royals made it to the World Series, he was fortunate enough to sing ‘God Bless America’ on the field at game 2 during the 7th inning stretch. With that he was able to form the ‘Voices Honoring Veterans Chorus’ where 240 members joined together to sing ‘Silent Night’ for the 100th anniversary of the WWI Christmas Truce at the National WWI Museum.
In 2015 he moved to Las Vegas with his lovely wife, Emily, so that they could further their operatic studies. One year later they found themselves in the Phoenix area while his wife attended Arizona State University to get her master's degree. Mr. Gibson has recently taken a break from his operatic singing career but still involves himself in music as the Music Director at a local church.
What pursuing opera has given to Richard is immeasurable. Overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude towards the arts, he finds himself led to give back and serve his community. Starting Chandler Opera Company is his way of doing that. Mr. Gibson is grateful for what opera has done for him and hopes that audience members find even an inkling of the affection he has for the art form.
Co-Founder/ Vice President
Originally from Kansas City, Emily Gibson is a lyric soprano and voice teacher residing in Chandler, Arizona. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from Arizona State University.
Ms. Gibson has been acclaimed as “a star equipped with a stellar soprano voice” by Broadway World, and noted for her “blooming high notes” by Opera Today. Recent role credits include Mimì in La bohème, Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Marie in The Bartered Bride, Musetta in La bohème, and Frasquita in Carmen.
Emily is proud to bring more classical music and opera to The Valley.