ANN SUMMERS DOSSENA
From her 1958 start in New York, through her years in Rome (1968-1977) to her Toronto base since 1977, Ann Summers Dossena has represented international artists in their career development, and been successful as a presenter and producer of concerts, tours and events, earning acclaim for innovative and creative ideas in audience development, and arts marketing. In 1983 she created the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists as a Canadian, non-profit, charitable organization to assist emerging artists.
After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ms. Summers gained management experience by working for several unions in Toronto, and Actors Equity Council in New York. Recognizing a need for development of musicians as artists, she became a personal representative in 1958, and incorporated Ann Summers Management Inc. in New York in 1960.
The "Extended Engagement Plan" was initiated in New York to develop and create full--time employment for chamber music artists, and at the same time stimulate the interest of concert goers. The program, now known as the "Artist in Residence" program is funded by the National Endowment of the Arts and Chamber Music America. Chamber groups, including jazz ensembles, were organized as membership corporations, which stabilized many groups with long-term planning.
Ms. Summers produced the first series of concerts at Carnegie Hall, including the "Visiting Orchestra" series which still remains today. She created the"Concert Party" series of informal concert presentations that developed audience-building and marketing techniques that have become traditional in many cities including Toronto's "Bach Brunch" series.
In 1969 "Concert Party" extended to Rome, Italy. Marriage to Rai TV Director, the late Armando Dossena, lead to a base in Rome where she worked as a presenter and producer of many high profile arts events, including a tour of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta in Rome, the Music and Architecture Festival featuring over 200 Canadian artists in L'Aquila, a tour of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet to Israel, and two tours of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Italy. The creation of Serate Musicali Foundation Inc. in New York, supported an electronic music lab, restored the organ of Buxtehude and sponsored the Bach and Organ Festivals in Rome.
Returning to Toronto in 1977, Ms. Summers established Ann Summers International, with a focus on serving both artists and audiences internationally. In 1983, The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists, a non-profit charitable organization founded in Toronto, with a mandate to help young artists move into their careers. The "Careers in Focus" program includes "Encounters with Employers" and "Business in Performing" workshops. Activities have included a Singers Round-Table, A Parents of Gifted Children seminar, Balletto Classico, a company of 6 classical ballet artists, "Singing Stars of Tomorrow" concerts, and Sumptuous Sunday Brunches, showcasing young performers.
In 1985 the first edition of "Getting It All Together" was published by Scarecrow Press and distributed to schools and libraries. A second edition will soon be released.
Several managers have apprenticed in the New York and Toronto offices.
In 1993, at the request of the International Institute of Vocal Arts in New York, Ms. Summers found the Villa Mazzotti in Chiari, Italy, as a centre for a 4-week study program for singers, coaches, pianists, with a distinguished faculty including staff members of the Metropolitan and New York City opera companies, Mignon Dunn, Sherrill Milnes, Regina Resnick, and Italian coaches Bruno Rigacci and Marco Boemi. Ms. Summers coordinated the program in Italy through its seventh season.
Ann Summers Dossena was awarded the first Manager of the Year Award at the 2012 annual Awards Ceremony and Luncheon of NAPAMA – the North American Association of Performing Arts Managers and Agents – and APAP – the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. The presentation was made by Robert Baird, Toronto artist manager and president of NAPAMA, at the Hilton New York.
Ms. Summers is an Honorary Life Member of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), founding member of the North American (formerly National) Association of Performing Arts Managers and Agents NAPAMA) in the U.S. She is also a member of Orchestras Canada, CCI Ontario Presenter Network, CAPACOA, the Canadian Italian Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, and Team Italia in Toronto.
Ann Summers International