Well, the weather will certainly be better. Opera New Jersey founder Scott Altman has accepted the position of general director of Arizona Opera. Altman, his wife, Lisa, and their two young children will relocate. Both husband and wife will continue working with Opera New Jersey through the end of the current calendar year to facilitate a smooth transition for the organization.
“The Trustees are extremely proud that the artistic accomplishments of Opera New Jersey have been recognized on a national level with Scott’s appointment at Arizona,” board chairman Salapatas says. "Scott’s appointment is a major step in his career, comparable to the opportunities afforded to past performers at Opera New Jersey. Opera New Jersey is poised to make a smooth transition from a founding company to institutionalizing the company’s growth and development throughout the state.”
According to a press statement, Opera New Jersey is not only the Garden State’s most prolific opera company but also provides extensive education and outreach programs. The company produces four fully-staged performances over the winter and the summer seasons. In addition, Opera New Jersey’s artists-in-residence and educational programs reach thousands of children and adults throughout the state.
Arizona Opera was founded in 1971 and annually produces five major productions each season throughout the state with a budget three times the size of Opera New Jersey’s.
All major programming and artists have been set for the 2010 seasons. The winter season performances of “Carmen” starring Denyce Graves have been scheduled for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark; State Theatre, New Brunswick; McCarter Theatre, Princeton; and the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland. Preparations are also completed for the summer season 2010 productions of “Don Giovanni,” “Faust,” and “Don Pasquale.”
Opera New Jersey achieved several major milestones in 2009. Summer 2009 saw the successful initiation of an artistic collaboration with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra that raises the quality and consistency of the pit orchestra. During a season that saw the contraction of many arts organizations, Opera New Jersey increased both attendance and ticket revenue.
The board of trustees of Opera New Jersey is initiating a national search for new executive-level administrative and artistic leadership. The goal is to have a new team in place in approximately four months.
“The organization has grown and flourished beyond our highest expectations,” said Scott and Lisa Altman, Co-Founders of Opera New Jersey, “we are thrilled to see Opera New Jersey mature from a founder-led company to the exciting artistic institution it has become; we can’t wait to see what it can accomplish next.”
For more information visit www.Opera-NJ.org.