|Long-time Director of Artistic Administration Promoted to New Position|
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Long-time Director of Artistic Administration Promoted to New Position
The Dallas Opera has announced the promotion of Director of Artistic Administration Jonathan Pell to serve as Artistic Director of The Dallas Opera, a position last held by Maestro Nicola Rescigno, one of the company’s esteemed co-founders.
Mr. Pell, who came to The Dallas Opera 24 years ago from WNET/Thirteen in New York City where he worked as coordinating producer for music programming, will assume his new title and responsibilities, effective immediately.
"This promotion," explains Dallas Opera President Dr. Kern Wildenthal, “is timed to coincide with final preparations for our move into the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, and to aid the company in meeting the unique challenges we face at this pivotal point in our history.”
“The artistic demands on The Dallas Opera will expand dramatically in the seasons to come,” Mr. Wildenthal continues, “as we attract the world’s most important artists, broaden our repertoire and utilize every new technological advance to create one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences for North Texas—and international—audiences.
“In an industry that thrives on extraordinary performers, Jonathan has consistently demonstrated the artistic integrity, business acumen and day-to-day personal commitment that makes him one of the best in the business.”
In his new position, Pell will create an even more dynamic working partnership with Music Director Graeme Jenkins as The Dallas Opera prepares to launch its inaugural season in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. His increased responsibilities will include the eventual expansion and restructuring of The Dallas Opera’s “Young Artists Program” to make it a more integral part of the company’s current mission and our firm commitment to future generations of opera audiences.
Mr. Pell frequently appears as a speaker on a variety of opera related topics, and for several years hosted The Dallas Opera Radio Hour, heard on Sunday afternoons on WRR.FM, and is a frequent guest on that station’s Inside The Dallas Opera. He has also hosted The Dallas Opera Guild Insights program since 1985, and in that capacity has interviewed such luminaries as Renee Fleming, Denyce Graves, Jerry Hadley, James Morris, Samuel Ramey, Ruth Ann Swenson, Carol Vaness, Veronica Villarroel and Frederica von Stade.
Mr. Pell has presented Master Classes on “The Art of the Audition” to various organizations, including Opera America, the International School of the Performing Arts, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Performing Arts Assistance Corporation of New York, the Canadian Opera Company, the Amarillo Opera, Southern Methodist University and the University of North Texas.
“Jonathan has a casting gift that is second to none,” says Interim General Director John T. Cody, Jr. “He has played an especially significant role in the success of the past two seasons by creating one unforgettable ensemble cast after another. Acting with guts, intelligence and perception, Jonathan has shown he isn’t afraid to defy convention and—in the process—surpass our highest expectations.
“With his taste, talent and wide-ranging expertise,” adds Mr. Cody, “Jonathan Pell has proven himself to be one of The Dallas Opera’s greatest assets. The initial reaction of Dallas Opera Board members has been overwhelmingly positive, because everyone recognizes this is as a promotion that is both beneficial for the opera company and extraordinarily well-deserved.”
In demand as a judge for vocal competitions, Pell has served in that capacity for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; the Luciano Pavarotti Competition; the Richard Tucker Music Foundation; the Bidu Sayao Competition in Belem, Brazil; the Ottavio Ziino Competition in Rome, Italy; the Center for Contemporary Opera Competition; the Jensen Foundation Competition; the George London Grants; the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition in Miami; and the Marguerite McCammon Competition in Fort Worth; as well as for the Denver Lyric Opera Guild, the San Antonio Opera Guild and The Dallas Opera Guild.
Mr. Pell is on the board of directors of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, where he serves as Chairman of their national auditions committee. He also served for a decade on the board of the prestigious ARIA Awards and as an advisor to Opera America’s Singer Services Committee.