Russell P. Allen began his second tour-of-duty with Virginia Opera in September, 2011. He had been General Manager from 1994-2000. Allen previously served as Executive Director of The Washington Ballet and Orlando Ballet where he worked in both positions building stronger administrative operations, generating increased earned and contributed revenue, strategically growing the institutions, and furthering each organization's mission and visibility in their respective communities. During his successful tenure in ballet management, Allen partnered with artistic directors Bruce Marks, Fernando Bujones, and Septime Webre.
Prior to his seven years in ballet, Allen served as General Manager for The Atlanta Opera, following his six years at Virginia Opera. His work with Virginia Opera in the 90s saw the organization through both its 20th and 25th gala seasons, and through six years of growth in both audience size and contributed revenue. Now looking ahead to its 40th Season in 2014-15, Allen will plan with Virginia Opera's Board of Directors the direction of the next phase of growth and development for Virginia Opera.
Throughout his tenure serving major arts institutions, Allen has served as an independent arts consultant in both fundraising and administrative development including his most recent assignments with Young Audiences of Virginia in Hampton Roads and Dance Metro DC in Washington, DC. He also has had significant involvement with the OPERA America Field Services Program and the National Endowment for the Arts On-Site Review Program. Mr. Allen also worked for sixteen years in symphony management; eight years of which was as Vice President and General Manager of The Phoenix Symphony.
As a leader in the cultural arena, Allen has been active on grant review panels for state arts commissions in Texas, Arizona, and Maryland, and for the past three years with the Virginia Commission For the Arts. He also has served on both the opera and dance panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Allen has been a member of the Valley Leadership Institute in Phoenix, the Civic Leadership Program in Hampton Roads, and served on a legislative sub-committee of the Virginia General Assembly on the state's arts funding initiatives. He also served for four years as Chair of the Executive Directors Council of the Hampton Roads Cultural Alliance.
In his spare time, Allen has since 2006 served as President of his Homeowners Association in Florida and served on his college's Alumni Board from 2003-2009. Allen was a double major in English and Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.
Author and producer Robin Thompson has been a key player in the growth and development of two of America's leading opera companies; New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and the LA Opera at the Music Center of Los Angeles.
As Producing Artistic Director at New York City Opera for thirteen years, Thompson was in charge of season planning, casting, and on site supervision of the company's artistic product from the 1996-1997 through 2008-2009 seasons. A major component of his work there was fulfilling the City Opera's historic mission of identifying emerging young singers, conductors, directors, designers and chorographers. His work there helped provide the company with a new artistic presence on the American and international opera scene.
His tenure at saw the City Opera debuts of singers Adina Aaron, Barry Banks, Jennifer Black, William Burden, Anna Christy, Beth Clayton, Sarah Connolly, Philip Cutlip, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Julianna Di Giacomo, João Fernandez, Vivica Genaux, Katharine Goeldner, John Hancock, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, Brandon Jovanovich, Joseph Kaiser, Maria Kanyova, Gary Lehmann, Lester Lynch, Sarah Jane McMahon, Bejun Mehta, John Osborn, Phyllis Pancella, Alexandrina Pendachanska, Keith Phares, Matthew Polenzani, Simon O'Neill, Patricia Racette, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Kurt Streit, James Valenti, Rolando Villazón, David Walker, Erik Nelson Werner, Maria Zifchak and Paulo Szot.
In addition to working closely with Music Director George Manahan, debuting guest conductors included Harry Bicket, Richard Buckley, John DeMain, Jane glover, Marco Guidarini, Stephen Lord, Anne Manson, Antony Walker and Stephen White. Important directors added to the roster were Anne Bogart, Leonard Foglia, Lillian Groag, Stephen Lawless, Jonathan Miller, Mark Morris, Francisco Negrin, Kevin Newbury, James Robinson, Chas Rader-Shieber, Tazewell Thompson and Stephen Wadsworth.
Designers making their first appearance with the company were Pat Collins, Donald Eastman, Jess Goldstein, Adrianne Lobel, Thomas Lynch, Peter Kaczorowski, Mark McCullough, Isaac Mizrahi, Martin Pakledinaz, Zandra Rhodes, Bruno Schwengl, Jennifer Tipton, Robert Wierzel and David Zinn.
Thompson has also worked for the Canadian Opera Company as Consultant for Artistic Planning, and for the Los Angeles Opera as Artistic Administrator. He began his career in the opera industry as a stage director for the opera companies of Montreal, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Houston and at the City Opera.
As a judge of vocal talent, Robin Thompson has been invited to adjudicate numerous national and international vocal competitions; Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Competizione del' Opera in Dresden, the Dallas Opera Guild, and the Richard Tucker Foundation. He was the first American to have been invited in many years to adjudicate the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Vocal Competition in Vienna, Austria. Recently, the prestigious Savonlinna Opera Festival brought him to Finland to evaluate their artistic operations.
His most recent book, The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess; A 75th Anniversary Celebration was released earlier this month by Amadeus Press, an imprint of the Hal Leonard Corporation.
Robin Thompson lives in New York City where he works as an author and consultant for the classical performing arts.
Contact a Virginia Opera staff member by dialing the main office number first, followed by one of the extensions listed on this page.
Dial the main office number first, followed by the appropriate extension.
You may also reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Virginia Opera (Norfolk)||email@example.com|
|Russell P. Allen, President & CEOfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Robin Thompson, Artistic Advisoremail@example.com|
|Adam Turner, Resident Conductor & Chorus Masterfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Alexandra Stacey, Artistic & Production Assistantemail@example.com|
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|Lisa Stewart, House Manager||TBDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maria Candelaria Daugs, Graphic Designeremail@example.com|
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|Sandra Zamora, Assistant Stage Manageremail@example.com|
|Susan Porter, Senior Development Writerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tom Minucci, Assistant Technical Director||TBDemail@example.com|
|Vanya Foote, Company Managerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Virginia Opera (Richmond)||804.644.8168|
|Russell P. Allen, President & CEOemail@example.com|
|Carolyn Davidson, Central Virginia Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dawn LeHuray, Marketing & Audience Services Coordinatoremail@example.com|
|Kelly Tsow, Development Operations Managerfirstname.lastname@example.org|