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Opera Roanoke Positioned to Impact Community with New Leadership

Scott Hamilton

Last week, Opera Roanoke announced that Scott Williamson will become the company’s general and artistic director, beginning in June. Steven White, who has served as artistic director for the last several years, will remain as artistic advisor and principal guest conductor.

An experienced conductor and operatic tenor, Scott Williamson is a familiar figure to Opera Roanoke audiences. For more than a decade he has served in a variety of important artistic capacities, including associate conductor, chorusmaster and production manager. As a singer, he has appeared in more than a dozen Opera Roanoke productions.

Roger Dalton, president of the board of trustees of Opera Roanoke, explained that this move was a recognition of Maestro Steven White’s increasingly busy schedule away from Roanoke, including 25 weeks next season at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. “Scott Williamson is the obvious and ideal choice to maintain artistic continuity and provide dynamic leadership as we move into the future,” Dalton said.

“I could not be more enthusiastic about the company’s decision to bring Scott Williamson to Roanoke,” said Steven White. “While Scott’s artistic prowess speaks for itself, his on-the-ground leadership will be a big boost to the company. I know of nobody who can more persuasively make the case for the necessity of opera in Southwest Virginia. And I believe the community will respond.” White’s whole-hearted support of Williamson can’t be missed; the additional leadership is clearly going to be welcomed.

Williamson has already hit the ground running, as he says “We are truly hopeful for the best … I anticipate that my being here will shore up support for the “brand” [of Roanoke Opera] and make Opera Roanoke a vital center — that it will be a real ‘star’ in the star city.”

Scott Williamson has a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Maryland, as well as degrees from Westminster Choir College and James Madison University. He has taught on the faculty of Washington and Lee University and also serves as the artistic director of the Virginia Chorale in Norfolk.

As general and artistic Director, Scott Williamson will be responsible for all aspects of Opera Roanoke’s operations. The announcement comes as the company prepares for the 2010-2011 season, featuring a fully-staged and costumed production of Madama Butterfly.

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