ALEXANDER P. STOFFAN: Surgeon and Opera Lover

Opera Grand Rapids Board Member Spotlight

Where are you originally from?
North Muskegon, Michigan

What do you do for a living?
I’m a surgeon, specializing in general surgery, trauma and surgical ICU.

I enjoy playing the piano, singing, cooking, reading, playing tennis and currently working on getting back into shape.

Where is your favorite place to travel? Why?
Favorite place is back home on Lake Michigan because of all the memories of home, family and friends, although I am looking forward to an upcoming surgical mission to Peru.

What/Who got you involved with OGR? (Past and Current)
A good friend and neighbor, Cassandra Hayes, told me about the opera and I attended a production of OGR last season.

What do you like about Opera?
I have loved opera since I was young, probably thanks to exposure to it from my grandfather. I love nearly every genre of music but opera is often the highest dedication and lyrical expression of the art, in my opinion.

Who/what brought you into the world of Opera?
My first opera was watching a recording of Handel’s Dido and Aeneas by Purcell in middle school for music class when talking about baroque music. I think I was the only one who liked it! In later years, though, I continue to be inspired by all kinds of opera.

What is your favorite form/piece of art? (symphony, opera, painting, book, etc.) Why?
Different forms of art are different types of expressions and I couldn’t imagine picking one. We are lucky to be surrounded with all kinds of art and seeking to understand and appreciate different forms, styles, etc. makes life rich.

Why do you think it is important to have an Opera company in our community?
Opera is such an amazing art and because of its history and long amount of training required it can be inaccessible to many communities. The more opportunities we, as a community, can bring opera to more people to inspire, entertain and expose people to opera will help keep Grand Rapids a vibrant and stimulating community.