PRESS RELEASE 8.19.18
BALTZ TO LEAVE AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF OPERAWORKSTM
Founder of Nationally Acclaimed Performance Training Program Will Pursue Other Projects
(Los Angeles) After decades at the helm of OperaWorks, founder Ann Baltz has informed OperaWorks’ Board of Directors that she wants to leave her position as Artistic Director of the world-renowned California-based artist training program as of August 15, 2018. “After 32 years of running year-round programs I am eager to move forward as a consultant, speaker, teacher, writer, composer, and creator of new productions that speak to social issues.” Baltz said.
The OperaWorks Board fully supports Baltz’s decision to pursue her national and international endeavors. OperaWorks pioneered an intensive, holistic approach to training performers, making Baltz one of the leading arts educators in the country. Under Baltz’s leadership OperaWorks has grown to include more than 2,000 alumni worldwide; her departure at the end of the 2018 summer season marks a move away from administrative work toward more creative and educational projects.
“Ann has been the driving force behind OperaWorks yet the board is very excited for her as she branches out on her own,” said board chairman and alumnus Jon Ellis. “We completely support her exploring new creative opportunities [and] continuing to teach, coach, hold master classes and workshops on her own.”
Julie Makerov is also a board member and alumna who has sung leading roles with many acclaimed companies including The Canadian Opera Company, Oper Frankfurt, Seattle Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
“I fully support her new artistic paths, and consider it my honor to have been guided and inspired by her thoughts, ideas and training techniques," Makerov said. "Ann's decision to step down as Artistic Director…will allow her to pursue other creative opportunities, thrive artistically and bring her gifts and knowledge to new horizons.”
Baltz started OperaWorks in 1987 when, after working in many professional capacities with opera companies and apprentice programs around the country, she noticed a glaring omission in singers’ preparation: they were being asked to do things as singer-actors they had not been taught to do. Inspired by her work with visionary Wesley Balk at the Merola Opera Program and as music director of his Minnesota Opera Institute, Baltz’s revolutionary approach to singer training became OperaWorks, a vanguard of performer education which was the first of its kind to incorporate the cross disciplinary education vital to singers, each session culminating in an original production by the faculty and participants.
Classes in yoga, visualization, Alexander technique, career planning, marketing and social media are just a few of the many ways OperaWorks supports the whole artist, an approach hailed in a study featured in the November 2016 issue of the International Journal of Music Education. Among OperaWorks alumni, hundreds can be found working and performing in some of the greatest houses throughout the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Covent Garden, as well as many other distinguished companies. Multiple Grammy Award winners are also OperaWorks graduates.
“I am really proud to see my vision of whole-person education realized through OperaWorks,” Baltz said. “I am particularly proud of our superb faculty that has been a part of the organization for years, and our truly unique curriculum that trains both the Person and the Artist.”
OperaWorks™ is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
For more information visit www.operaworks.org.
For more on Ann Baltz visit www.annbaltz.com.