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Christopher Cano Joins Washington National Opera As The Director Of The Cafritz Young Artists And American Opera Initiative

Christopher Cano is a recitalist, orchestra soloist, and collaborative pianist who has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Europe, and Asia.

Christopher Cano Joins Washington National Opera As The Director Of The Cafritz Young Artists And American Opera Initiative

Christopher Cano will join Washington National Opera (WNO) as the Director of the Cafritz Young Artists (CYA) and American Opera Initiative (AOI) in September ahead of the WNO's 2022-2023 season. Cano will work closely with General Director Timothy O'Leary and Artistic Director Francesca Zambello to lead the two nationally recognized programs dedicated to advancing opera by training and giving voice to the next generation of singers, pianists/coaches, composers, and librettists.

"Chris is one of the most dynamic and respected musicians in the opera industry," said WNO's General Director Timothy O'Leary. "He has built an international career as a pianist, coach, and mentor to many of today's greatest singers. More than that, he is known for his passion for creating meaningful opera through extraordinary craft, and by championing an opera world that is inclusive, diverse, and forward-looking. We are excited to welcome him to the WNO and Kennedy Center family."

"In bringing Chris into the company we will begin building a new and broader artistic team by expanding our artistic collaborators for the young artists and AOI programs this season, and enabling us to deepen our audience connections and broaden our content," added Francesca Zambello.

Arizona Opera President and General Director Joseph Specter said: "In his five and a half years with Arizona Opera, Chris has made a significant contribution to our Pullin Opera Studio and our company, continuing to grow the quality of the Studio and providing a valuable voice in our artistic planning process. While we will miss Chris very much, we also cheer him on as he takes on this exciting role with WNO."

Christopher Cano is a recitalist, orchestra soloist, and collaborative pianist who has performed throughout the U.S., Mexico, Israel, Europe, and Asia. Cano is a sought-after coach for leading singers, having prepared vocalists for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and Berlin Philharmonic among others.

As a collaborative artist, he has played in the master classes of Marilyn Horne at Carnegie Hall, Licia Albanese, Fedora Barbieri, Anna Moffo, Lauren Flannigan, Martin Katz, Craig Rutenberg, and Susanne Mentzer. As a studio pianist, Cano worked with some of the great artists and teachers of singing including Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Luciano Pavarotti, Marni Nixon, Patricia McCaffrey, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Rita Shane, and Diana Soviero.

Beginning in the 2017-2018 season, Cano was appointed as the Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio of Arizona Opera and promoted to the position of Director of Artistic Operations in the spring of 2022.

ABOUT THE CAFRITZ YOUNG ARTISTS PROGRAM

Now in its 21st season, the Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera (WNO) are young singers and pianists/coaches on the verge of international careers. The program provides intensive study with renowned vocal and dramatic coaches and offers voice lessons, language classes, career guidance, and master classes with WNO staff and guest artists. The Young Artists also have the opportunity to perform and cover roles in WNO productions, and to create new roles in WNO's new works program, the American Opera Initiative.

Cafritz Young Artists of Washington National Opera graduates have gone on to successful careers including performances with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, New York City Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Bayreuth Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, Liceu Opera Barcelona, and Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN OPERA INITIATIVE (AOI)

Each season of the American Opera Initiative has commissioned three 20-minute operas and, up until 2018, an additional hour-long opera. Commissioned works are based on American themes and stories and use a chamber ensemble drawn from the WNO orchestra and singers from the Cafritz Young Artists. Each team of composers and librettists workshops their operas throughout the development cycle at the Kennedy Center and has the invaluable experience of witnessing their work performed on a Kennedy Center stage. Performances are followed by a Q&A session with the artists and the creative team.

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PRESS CONTACTS

Jen Luzzo, jkluzzo@kennedy-center.org

Chanel Williams, cpwilliams@kennedy-center.org

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John F Kennedy Center For The Performing, 2700 F Street, Washington, DC 20566 United StatesChristopher Cano Joins Washington National Opera As The Director Of The Cafritz Young Artists And American Opera Initiative

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