Benjamin Robinson To Lead Opera Ithaca
Opera Ithaca announced today that Benjamin Robinson has been engaged as its Artistic Director beginning with its 2019-2020 season. Currently Artistic Director of Raylynmor Opera in Keene, New Hampshire, a position he will retain, Robinson is an experienced opera administrator, director, and singer. Also an educator, he is a Lecturer in Voice at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
With an impressive resume of directing engagements ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan through Puccini and Verdi and into the late twentieth century with Peter Brook's "La tragédie de Carmen," Robinson will bring a unique viewpoint to the work Opera Ithaca produces. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work for Opera Ithaca, a company that has already taken many bold steps and set a high artistic bar. I relish the chance to build on these successes and lead the company in the continued exploration of this art form that I so dearly love. This dynamic community is ripe for helping the opera grow and continue to reach new artistic heights," says Robinson.
Lynn Craver, co-founder of Opera Ithaca and its Artistic Director for its first five seasons, is pleased to be handing over the reins to Robinson. "I am proud of what we have built here in Ithaca and that the search for my successor attracted so many impressive candidates. Our mission really resonated with Ben and he brings incredible energy to his work. I am confident that this company is in good hands." Craver will remain with the company as the Director of its Apprentice Program.
Robinson will also take over many of the duties presently being undertaken by the Interim Executive Director, Dan Taylor. "I've been honored to act as interim during the fifth season, and I pleased to pass the baton to an artist committed to uplifting opera everywhere, including right here in Ithaca," says Taylor.
Barry Chester, president of Opera Ithaca, says, "The Board of Directors is delighted to have found such a good fit with Ben, and pleased that Lynn will continue her role as head of our Apprentice Program. We get new leadership and continuity at the same time. Ben will be the company's first paid administrator, which is a major milestone. This is the start of an exciting new era for us."
Founded in 2014, Opera Ithaca brings professional opera to Ithaca and the surrounding region. It enriches the local arts community by providing a consistent venue for classical vocal music. Opera Ithaca presents distinctive and highly theatrical productions of operatic and musical theatre works as well as concerts, lectures, and educational outreach events. Opera Ithaca engages a diverse and multi-generational audience to aid in the preservation of opera as a living art form. It has a commitment, unique among opera companies, to produce an opera by a woman composer every season. Opera Ithaca also has an apprentice artist program, and apprentices take part in all our productions and outreach activities. Opera Ithaca is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
The company is finalizing plans for its 2019-2020 season, and an announcement will be forthcoming soon. More information will be available at operaithaca.org.