Goodspeed Musicals Names Adam Souza New Music Director; Michael O'Flaherty Set To Retire
Goodspeed Musicals' Executive Director Michael Gennaro announced today that longtime Resident Music Director Michael O'Flaherty has decided to retire after leading the music department for 28 years. Joining Goodspeed to head the Music Department will be Broadway Conductor and National Tour Music Director and Associate Music Supervisor Adam Souza.
Mr. O'Flaherty stated, "the past 28 years as Resident Music Director of Goodspeed Musicals has afforded me the rare opportunity of collaborating with the very best composers, authors, actors, directors and producers in the musical theatre, while working on more than 90 musicals, old and new. I have never lost sight of how privileged I've been to have this experience."
He shared, "One of my favorite aspects of the job has been the ability to mentor many young, aspiring Music Directors over the years, one of whom, Adam Souza, will be taking over as my successor, and I couldn't be more proud. I'm also delighted to know that part of my legacy will be the annual Music Direction Intensive, or MDI, which has, over the past nine years, trained more than 120 music directors, thereby continuing Goodspeed's long-term commitment to education and outreach in the world of musical theatre."
"It's hard to express how happy I've been at Goodspeed. Very few people get this sort of opportunity. I'll certainly miss the work, the audiences, and the incredible staff. But now I look forward to new options and experiences - and the ability to hand off the Music Department to a new generation of artists" O'Flaherty said.
Adam Souza remembers "as a young aspiring musician, it was always my dream to make music with this organization. Goodspeed was my introduction to the idea that music and theater are truly a shared, community experience." Souza continued, "It is a great honor to be invited back to Goodspeed Musicals to continue the legacy of Resident Music Director, Michael O'Flaherty. Michael is my dear friend and mentor, and I am forever indebted to him for his leadership, friendship and talent. During his tenure Michael collaborated with many of Musical Theatre's greatest talents, always with respect, poise, sensitivity, and humor. It is my wish that I can bring to Goodspeed the same commitment and fervent focus that Michael has maintained for almost three decades."
Mr. Souza shared that "as a two-time recipient of the Goodspeed Guild scholarship and a college scholarship from Michael Price and Goodspeed Musicals, I feel a deep connection and responsibility toward Goodspeed's mission of nurturing, preserving and developing the American Musical Theatre. In coming home, I whole-heartedly invest my full spirit in our mission."
Executive Director, Michael Gennaro expressed that "Michael has been a vital part of Goodspeed Musicals work for nearly thirty years. The artistry and quality of the musicals which are synonymous with Goodspeed are in great part thanks to the talent and vision of Mr. O'Flaherty. As much as we will all miss collaborating with him, we are heartened to know his torch will be passed to his former mentee and Goodspeed alumnus Adam Souza. We are pleased to welcome Adam in his new position as Resident Music Director and look forward to many years of harmonious collaboration."
Mr. O'Flaherty will pass the torch following the closing of Billy Elliot The Musical in November 2019.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement,) Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.