Central City Opera (CCO) proudly announces the appointment of stage director Alison Moritz as its new Artistic Director

Central City Opera (CCO) proudly announces the appointment of stage director Alison Moritz as its new Artistic Director

Alison Moritz

Moritz was selected from an incredibly vast pool of talented applicants through a rigorous and highly competitive national search process led by Jonathan West on behalf of Management Consultants for the Arts (MCA) and CCO’s volunteer Search Committee, chaired by CCO Board of Directors member Joshua Navarro. Acclaimed for her innovative productions and insightful direction, Alison has earned recognition on stages across the United States and abroad, solidifying her reputation as a leading figure in the opera world. With a B.A. in Music and Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.M. from Eastman School of Music, Alison has created original productions for Cincinnati Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Omaha, Wolf Trap Opera, the Atlanta Opera, Austin Opera, and many more. Her previous work includes translating opera into television and film, and she is a frequent guest director and teacher for preeminent conservatories and Young Artist Programs such as Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard, and Rice University.

In her role as Artistic Director for Central City Opera, Alison will oversee all artistic and production staff and will direct one production per season beginning with the 2025 Festival. Moritz has worked closely with participants from CCO’s esteemed Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program through her previous directorial engagements with Central City Opera for productions like Madama Butterfly in 2019, and will lead the search for CCO’s next director of this prestigious program.

Moritz expressed her enthusiasm for the new role, stating, “I am deeply honored to join Central City Opera as the new Artistic Director. My previous experiences with the company have been incredibly rewarding, and I am excited to build upon that foundation as we embark on this new chapter together.”

Alison’s tenure coincides with Central City Opera’s eagerly anticipated 2024 Festival season, running from June 29 through August 4, where she will oversee productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West), and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Attend Central City Opera Guild’s 2024 Opera Teaser on Thursday, March 14 for the first public opportunity to meet Alison and to experience a preview of the coming season. For complete event details and tickets to the 2024 Opera Teaser, visit the Special Events page of CCO’s website HERE at centralcityopera.org.

Central City Opera President and CEO Scott Finlay lauded Moritz’s appointment, emphasizing her exceptional dedication to the art form. “I’m thrilled to welcome Alison Moritz to Central City Opera as our new Artistic Director! Her talent and vision align perfectly with our goals, and I couldn’t be more excited to have her on board. With Alison as a member of this team, we’ll continue the upward trajectory that has already begun. Welcome, Alison!”

Central City Opera Board Chair Sonny Wiegand echoed Finlay’s sentiments, underlining the significance of Moritz’s appointment. “Alison Moritz’s appointment as Artistic Director marks a pivotal moment in Central City Opera’s history,” Wiegand stated. “Her vision and leadership will shape the artistic direction of the company and ensure its continued success.”

MORE ABOUT ALISON MORITZ

Alison’s work focuses on using music as a prism for human emotion – as such, her recent projects have been lauded as “enchantingly cheeky” (Washington Post), “elegantly sexy,” and “raw, funny, surreal, and disarmingly human” (Opera News).

In addition to taking on the role of Artistic Director for Central City Opera, Alison’s current activities include directing new productions of Don Giovanni (Cincinnati Opera) and Elizabeth Cree (Glimmerglass Festival) and collaborating on the 2024 Santa Fe Apprentice Scenes. Future projects include original productions with Opera Philadelphia, Opera Omaha, and Austin Opera.

Recently, Alison’s ambitious 2022-2023 season included a landmark celebratory 50th Anniversary performance of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at the Kennedy Center, as well as house debuts directing original productions at Cincinnati Opera (The Knock, world stage premiere), Wolf Trap Opera Company (Faust), and the Atlanta Opera (Candide). Other recent highlights include original productions for Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Omaha, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Bard Music Festival, and Portland Opera.

During the 2021-2022 season, Alison served as the Interim Managing Artistic Director of Opera at Peabody Conservatory where she produced a season of mainstage opera and spearheaded the socially conscious “Opera in Action” initiative. Moritz has also guest directed and taught at Juilliard, Eastman School of Music, Rice University, and Bard College. Her additional professional credits include directing engagements at Austin Opera, Palm Beach Opera, New Orleans Opera Association, Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Madison Opera, Edmonton Opera, and Opera Santa Barbara.

Passionate about opera as a living art form, Alison has workshopped and directed several world premieres including Proving Up (Mazzoli/Vavrek; Washington National Opera), Taking Up Serpents (Sankaram/Dye; Washington National Opera), The Knock (Vrebalov/Brevoort; Glimmerglass), and Chunky in Heat (Experiments in Opera, NYC). Her production of Kevin Puts/Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate was nominated for seven Austin Critic’s Table awards and won four, including Best Production. She has also workshopped pieces by David Hertzberg and Rene Orth for Opera Philadelphia and her multidisciplinary works include projects in film and Virtual Reality. In fall 2022, Alison made her television directing debut with the experimental Everything for Dawn, a ten-episode opera series airing on WNET and All Arts.