Our World Revolves Around Creative Joy
Who We Are
We are artists whose world revolves around creative joy.
With over 50 years of combined experience in the performing arts, we have worked and performed with the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth, the Washington National Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In 2020 we came together over our shared desire to broaden the types of stories commissioned in the classical performing arts field. Encouraged by wide-spread public adoption of digital performing arts content during the pandemic, we saw an opportunity to change the way we interact with on-demand artistic content.
President and Chief Creative Officer
Ryan McKinny is a Grammy-Award winning bass baritone, as well as a writer, director, and entrepreneur. In 2020 McKinny founded Keep the Music Going Productions, a mission-driven organization specializing in adapting live performances to screen during the Covid-19 pandemic. McKinny wrote, directed, and produced digital projects for organizations across the U.S., including the Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Austin Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Dallas Opera Network. McKinny is the co-writer and director of Helio Arts’ After/Glow (2021).
McKinny serves as the President and Chief Creative Officer of Helio Arts. His upcoming performances include leading roles with the Metropolitan Opera and the Houston Grand Opera.
E. Loren Meeker
Has spent her career shattering glass ceilings and breaking barriers. From film direction to choreography, to stage direction, to artistic administration, her creative impulses have propelled her work across multiple genres and disciplines. Recent film credits include directing The Impresario and co-directing with Ryan McKinny Vinkensport, or The Finch Opera, both for HGO’s 2021/22 Digital Season. Upcoming stage director opportunities include the Scenes Program at Santa Fe Opera and The Marriage of Figaro at Austin Opera. Her work has been seen at prominent opera houses across the globe including San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Teatro Colón, and Singapore Lyric Opera. She is currently the General & Artistic Director of OPERA San Antonio. Ms. Meeker’s unique path into the arts began with a background in dance and gymnastics, later combining her talents in these disciplines with a love for acting and singing. She received her BFA in Theatre Studies at Boston University and immediately applied her diverse theatrical background to the world of opera, theatre, and film.
VP of Operations
Aleks Romano is a design strategist and mezzo-soprano who has performed around the world with institutions like the Washington National Opera, Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestra, Portland Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Romano specializes in new and reimagined business ventures, with a focus on innovating organizational structures and user-centered client engagement models. Her recent clients include the Atlanta Opera’s Spotlight Media, New Orleans Opera Association, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, and Maryland Institute College of Art.
VP of Partnerships
Tonya McKinny is a director, writer, actor, and co-founder of Keep the Music Going Productions.
Her recent credits include co-director of Bon Appetit! featuring Jamie Barton for the Houston Grand Opera, co-writer and co-director of Glimmerglass Lieder for the Glimmerglass Festival, co-producer of The Road We Came (2021), a new walking tour opera experience with On Site Opera in New York City, and most recently, director of Interstate, a new opera by Kamala Sankaram, produced by Helio Arts and Minnesota Opera.
McKinny teaches Master Classes through the University of Hawaii and works as an acting coach for professional singers. She currently serves as the VP of Partnerships for Helio Arts.
Chief Technology Officer
David has over 15 years of experience providing technical leadership for start-ups and enterprise organizations. A recognized industry leader for scaling high-growth sites and infrastructures. In 2007, David had the distinct honor of being selected by O’Reilly Media as one of the “70+ thought leaders” within the Internet industry and was asked to be one of the headline speakers for their Web 2.0 Summit.
David has led technology leadership roles across multiple industry verticals. He has successfully led cloud & service delivery transformations at Boeing, T-Mobile, Procter & Gamble, CenturyLink, & Coca-Cola. David also has extensive experience within media & entertainment, where he started his career within this vertical at Viacom, and later was the VP of Technology for a Michael Eisner funded online video platform called Veoh Television. At Veoh, David led technology initiatives to enable Veoh to scale 346% to the 10th most visited website within less than a year. After Veoh, David led technology teams at Limelight Networks to deliver live and OTT streaming solutions for NBC, CNN, Harpo, and HBO.
David currently leads a Platform Engineering organization for a worldwide entertainment company. He also serves as Chief Technology Officer for Helio Arts.
Director of Operations
Katrina Bachus is a director whose work spans a wide variety of stage productions, including world premieres of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix, Carlisle Floyd’s The Prince of Players, and Iain Bell’s A Christmas Carol. She has collaborated with directors such as John Caird, Francesca Zambello, John Cox, Carlos Padrissa, and James Robinson. In addition, she served as associate director for the LA Opera’s production of Orphée et Eurydice, and as assistant director for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Othello.
Bachus serves as Director of Operations for Helio Arts. Her upcoming engagements include a return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a new production of Macbeth and a new coproduction with the Metropolitan Opera of Fire Shut Up in My Bones.
The Wall Street Journal
"This engaging 45-minute comedy, featuring the obscure Belgian sport of finch sitting, has been artfully co-directed by Ryan McKinny (who also plays one of the six roles) and E. Loren Meeker. "Read More
The Wall Street Journal
The Road We Came
"Three self-guided walking tours trace the experience of Black people in New York, starting in Lower Manhattan in the 17th century; moving north to Midtown in the late 19th century; and then up to Harlem in the 20th century. Each of the 16 tour stops has a narration by historian Eric K. Washington and a short film by Ryan and Tonya McKinny"Read More
The New Yorker
"She had, in fact, already returned to the stage, virtually, in “Coronadämmerung,” a staggering Wagner video masterfully edited by the bass-baritone Ryan McKinny."Read More
"Working in digital media, exhibiting exact comic timing, and baking a chocolate cake while singing require considerable additional skills which she seems to have right at her fingertips. Her facial expressions were unforgettable. Co-directors Tonya and Ryan McKinny helped her with the comedy, of course."Read More
The Houston Press
"I’ve been doing this opera for a lot of years. I've done it everywhere from Carnegie Hall stage to Fire Island and everywhere I’ve done it it’s always been so well received. People love Julia Child. People love cooking shows. You put those two together and put opera with it and it's appealing to just about anyone."Read More
"The video realization, by McKinny and E. Loren Meeker, is well-nigh ideal; I was particularly impressed with how well the singers, trained for the opera house, tailored their gestural language to the camera’s demands"Read More
The Chicago Tribune
For the Love of Lyric
"This decidedly down-to-earth approach to opera performance was the handiwork of segment producer and singer Ryan McKinny, made possible by two divas not afraid to let their inhibitions down. Well done."Read More
What We Do
We Commission and Distribute Stunningly Beautiful Art Films to Stream at Home
We produce and distribute multidisciplinary art films that are as innovative to our industry as they are beautiful to watch.
We do not record live performances; rather, we commission artists to write, direct and film original stories using one or more performing arts mediums (dance, opera, artsong, poetry, and music, to name a few)–each of which is available to stream on our website.
We believe that arts entertainment is ready for a change of perspective.
The current model of artistic commercialization discourages innovation of narrative and medium, while promoting a cutthroat economic model that provides artists with little support and audiences with little novelty.
Contrary to this revenue-centric approach, we imagine a world that revolves around the creativity of our artists and the viewing experience of our patrons. Through our proprietary platform and innovative business model, we encourage a broader range of artistic narratives, an inventive mix of mediums, and an emphasis on inclusivity of voice and background–benefitting audience and artist alike.
We are proud to do all this under an equitable, mutually-supportive economic model that compensates our artists and partners on an ongoing basis.
In short, we commission and produce the most diverse, creative, and innovative performing arts content under the sun.