Years active 1981-present
|Occupation(s) Opera Company|
|Website Nashville Opera Web Site|
Members General and Artistic Director John Hoomes
Past members Founder Mary Cortner Ragland Thor Johnson Former Chief Executive Officer Carol Penterman
Origin Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Similar Florentine Opera, Carlisle Floyd, Seattle Opera, Virginia Opera, Michael Fabiano
The Nashville Opera Association is a professional opera company in Nashville, Tennessee and is a member of OPERA America. The company currently offers four fully staged opera productions and the On Tour educational outreach program during an annual season which runs from October through April. Performances are offered at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Downtown Nashville and the award-winning Noah Liff Opera Center in the Sylvan Heights section of West Nashville. Designed by renowned architect Earl Swensson, The 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) Noah Liff Opera Center houses the company's executive offices, conference facilities, and a state-of-the-art rehearsal studio. The center was designed to accommodate small theatrical performances and special event rentals. Nashville Opera's mission statement is "make a difference by creating legendary productions and programs and providing exceptional service."
John Hoomes joined Nashville Opera in 1995 as the Artistic Director, and was named General and Artistic Director in 2012. Mr. Hoomes received his master's degree from Indiana University with a concentration in directing and has become recognized as an expert in the field of opera and musical theater. He has gained a solid reputation for staging thought-provoking interpretations, and for possessing the artistic vision to bring new works to the stage. In 2005, Mr. Hoomes collaborated with GRAMMY-Award-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon on Nashville Opera's first world-premiere, Surrender Road. Two years later he directed the world-premiere of composer Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry, an operatic adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' groundbreaking novel. Mr. Hoomes has directed over 75 productions of opera and musical theater in his career, including nearly every Nashville Opera production since 1995. As a freelance director, he works with companies throughout North America such as Arizona Opera, Kentucky Opera, Cincinnati Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Glimmerglass Opera, Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, Indianapolis Opera, Opera New Jersey and Pittsburgh Opera.
The Nashville Opera Guild was chartered in 1981 under the direction of Mary Cortner Ragland. They produced their first opera, Madama Butterfly, in the same year. In 1987, the Nashville Opera Guild transferred its charter to the Nashville Opera Association. Two years later, they hired their first permanent director, Kyle Ridout, whose tenure lasted five years. In 1995, the former General Director Carol Penterman (through 2012) and current Artistic Director John Hoomes joined the Nashville Opera. The Nashville Opera merged with the Tennessee Opera Theater in 1997, increasing production from one or two to four operas per season. In April 2009 the Nashville Opera's new facility, the Noah Liff Opera Center, had its grand opening. Current Chief Operating Officer Noah E. Spiegel joined the Nashville Opera staff in 2012.