OPERA NEWS - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Names Soprano Patricia Racette and Damon Bristo to Artistic Posts
From Development server
1 August 2019

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Names Soprano Patricia Racette and Damon Bristo to Artistic Posts

OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS announced today that acclaimed soprano Patricia Racette will join the company as the artistic director of its young artist program, and that Damon Bristo, vice president at Columbia Artists, will join OTSL as its director of artistic administration. 

“I am excited to welcome these extraordinary new colleagues to Opera Theatre’s artistic leadership,” said Andrew Jorgensen, the company’s general director, who made the announcement of today’s appointments. “I’ve known Patricia and Damon for many years, and respect each of them immensely. Patricia Racette is an incomparable singer and visionary artist who also triumphed in her directorial debut here in 2018. She has a rich depth of wisdom and perspective to share with young singers, and I know she will help advance OTSL’s artistic mission. I am equally thrilled to welcome Damon Bristo, who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the operatic canon in addition to having managed one of the finest rosters in our business. He brings a deep commitment to discovering and promoting young talent. These two appointments mark an exciting new chapter in Opera Theatre’s artistic leadership.”

Racette and Bristo, who begin their tenures with the company in September, will work closely with artistic director James Robinson and resident conductor and head of music Roberto Kalb in OTSL’s artistic planning. Racette’s purview will involve identifying and auditioning young artists from around the country in addition to overseeing Opera Theatre’s Gerdine Young Artist and Richard Gaddes Festival Artist Programs. Bristo, who succeeds Paul Kilmer as the company’s director of artistic administration, will help plan, cast, and produce all artistic activities at the company. Before retiring in the summer of 2020, Kilmer will continue at OTSL in an advisory role.  

“I look forward to collaborating with Patricia and Damon very much,” said OTSL artistic director James Robinson. “I have had the great pleasure of working with Patricia Racette over the years, and it is nothing short of thrilling to have her take on this role. I believe she will bring a unique and vibrant artistic voice to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Having Damon Bristo join OTSL also demonstrates our commitment to creating a nurturing and exciting environment for the creation of great opera, the training of young artists, and the continuation of strong artistic advocacy in the community.”

“I am thrilled to join the artistic team at OTSL,” said Racette, who made her directorial debut at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2018 with her production of La Traviata, and returns to the company in 2020 to direct Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah. “Opera Theatre not only welcomed me for one of the earliest professional roles of my vocal career, but also supported my inaugural directorial project last year. The opportunity to shape the vision of this dynamic company sparks my passion to impact the operatic art form not only as a singer and director, but also as a teacher and a leader. As I expand my career, I eagerly look forward to helping identify and nurture the next generation of artists." spacer 

More information can be found at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

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