Great thanks to the community of Charlottesville and our artists for making our 2021 Season in the open air a huge success!
Gail Kitch, President of the Charlottesville Opera Board of Directors, announces the appointment of Dr. Leanne Pettit Clement as the company’s General Director, effective January 1, 2022.
For ten years, Dr. Clement led Opéra Louisiane, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she grew the company’s budget from $100,000 to $500,000. Her legacy there includes educational initiatives that allowed more than 3,000 students to experience opera free of charge each year, a growing endowment, and a company known for its fiscal responsibility and security.
Clement’s career in opera began as a mezzo-soprano specializing in the dramatic roles of Verdi and Wagner. Despite her passion for performing, her focus has long been on producing opera. Even as a doctoral student at Louisiana State University, Clement co-founded LSU Opera Outreach Program, an initiative to take opera to nearby schools in Baton Rouge where music programs were scarce. Clement shares, “I was introduced to opera through a touring educational program that came to my small hometown of Louisa, Virginia. It changed my life and I wanted to make sure other children had the opportunity to experience this extraordinary art form as well.”
Of her new position, Clement says, “I am honored to be a part of the long legacy of Charlottesville Opera. I look forward to working with this passionate board of directors to continue to bring unforgettable performances and educational opportunities to Central Virginia.”
Board President Gail Kitch remarks, “Dr. Clement was chosen for her passion and proven track record for leadership. Her experience in producing opera coupled with her dedication to music education was crucial in our decision to name her as General Director.”
Dr. Clement will work to further the mission of Charlottesville Opera by bringing noteworthy performances of opera and musical theatre to the people of Central Virginia, creating new connections within the community, and expanding the company’s educational initiatives.
Charlottesville Opera’s summer season returns to the Paramount Theatre this year with performances of The Sound of Music on July 7, 8, 9, & 10 and The Merry Widow on July 22 & 24.