Kentucky Opera Appoints New Leadership Team

Kentucky Opera on Tuesday announced a new leadership team, in the wake of the sudden death of General Director David Roth in July.

Joseph Mechavich, who has been the opera’s principal conductor since 2010, has been appointed artistic director, the organization said in a news release.

Mechavich is a frequent guest conductor with orchestras and opera companies around the world, including Washington National Opera, Berlin Opera, and San Diego Opera. In addition to conducting two productions this season, Mechavich will program and cast the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

Kentucky Opera Board President William Blodgett will continue as acting general director, a role he stepped into shortly after Roth’s death.

Production Director Chuck Schmidt, who had left Kentucky Opera in June for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, is returning to the opera on a part-time basis.

The company also announced the appointment of Frances Skolnick as development and administrative director, plus the addition of Dan Feith as production manager and Laura Goodman as administrative assistant.

The opera’s board established a transition committee last month. On Tuesday, the opera said in the news release that the transition committee is evaluating the best long-term model for executive and artistic leadership.

The Opera Board of Directors’ Transition Committee meanwhile will evaluate the best long-term model of artistic and executive leadership for the organization.

Kentucky Opera’s 2015-16 season opens Friday with Verdi’s “Macbeth,” conducted by Mechavich.

Image: William Blodgett speaking last month in Louisville. Photo by James Bickers.

Tara Anderson

Tara Anderson is the arts and culture correspondent for WFPL News.