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Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Names James Robinson New Artistic Director

Robinson
OTSL artistic director-
designate, Robinson

© Dario Acosta 2007
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis announced two significant additions to its administrative staff today, with stage director James Robinson set to assume OTSL's artistic directorship, and Timothy O'Leary taking on a newly created position as the company's executive director.

Robinson, who since 2000 has served as the artistic director of Opera Colorado, last month announced his resignation from that company. O'Leary is currently New York City Opera's director of operations. He and Robinson join Opera Theatre of Saint Louis's general director, Charles MacKay, and music director, Stephen Lord, in running OTSL. With his appointment, Robinson succeeds OTSL artistic director Colin Graham, who died in April while working on the world-premiere production of David Carlson's Anna Karenina.

"These appointments represent a major step forward for Opera Theatre," said Donna Wilkinson, the company's board chairman, in a statement issued today. "James Robinson is widely acclaimed both here and abroad, and a worthy successor to Colin Graham. Timothy O'Leary is a top administrator with the wide experience to take on the management role envisioned in the long-range plan adopted by the board in 2003."

O'Leary
Opera Theatre of Saint
Louis executive director,
Tim O'Leary

Courtesy of Opera Theatre
of Saint Louis
Robinson, who concludes his tenure with Opera Colorado in September 2008, intends to work as OTSL's artistic director-designate for much of the company's 2008 festival season; he officially assumes his responsibilities as the company's artistic director in 2009. As part of that season, Robinson will stage a new performing version of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles. His programming influence will take effect beginning with the company's 2010 season. A prominent American director, Robinson made his mainstage debut with OTSL in 2000 staging Handel's Radamisto; since then he has directed well-received productions of Miss Havisham's Fire (2001), Nixon in China (2004), Street Scene (2006) and La Traviata (2007) with the company.

"James Robinson is one of the finest stage directors in the US today," said MacKay. "He has an extensive history with Opera Theatre, and is well known to our board and patrons through his wonderful productions. Tim O'Leary is one of the rising stars in the next generation of arts administrators, and we are fortunate to be able to bring him to St. Louis to strengthen the already extraordinary management team at Opera Theatre."

O'Leary, whose purview at New York City Opera involves overseeing labor relations and serving as liaison between the company's administration and its departments, assumes his OTSL position in January 2008. As part of his executive directorship, O'Leary will assume an active role in the company's fundraising efforts, in addition to overseeing some administrative functions. Formerly a stage director, O'Leary has directed productions at companies including New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera's Merola and Western Opera Theater programs.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis's 2008 season runs from May 24 through June 29, and will feature the world premiere performances of a newly commissioned version of William Walton's Troilus and Cressida as well as the U.S. professional premiere of Martín y Soler's Una Cosa Rara. Other productions slated to take the stage include a new staging of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman and Colin Graham's production of Madama Butterfly, in the "Brescia" version.

More information can be found at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the OPERA NEWS Archives
(HERE, HERE and HERE).

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