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Commentary

NYC Opera Logo
15 Sep 2005

Paul Kellogg to retire as New York City Opera’s General and Artistic Director at the end of the 2006-07 Season

Paul Kellogg, General and Artistic Director of City Opera, today announced that he will retire from the Company in June, 2007 at the end of the 2006-2007 season, his 12th with the company.

“This has been a hard decision, Mr. Kellogg said, “but I will have run two opera companies for 29 years, and that’s probably enough – for me and for the profession. It’s been a wonderfully exciting and satisfying time, and I’ve had the chance to meet extraordinary people, but it’s mostly a fifteen-hour-day, seven-days-a-week job that is probably better suited to someone forty-five years old. I’ve done the math and realize I’ll be within sight of seventy by then, which leaves just time enough to start a more rational life – whatever that is.

“As importantly, this is a good time for New York City Opera to look for new leadership and it leaves two years to conduct a search, during which I will be fully active as General and Artistic Director. The company is in a very good period artistically. We have developed a strong board and support group. And although nothing can be confirmed or discussed specifically at this point, I would say that our finally getting a new theater is more likely than not. There are still hurdles to jump, and it will take a great deal of work to bring it to completion, but the excitement of achieving it also adds enormously to the appeal of the job. I feel comfortable leaving City Opera in other hands, though I will miss it terribly. It’s an extraordinary company.”

Susan Baker, City Opera’s chairman commented, “Paul Kellogg has been a beloved and visionary leader of City Opera and we will miss him deeply. During the past ten years we have been fortunate to have had the benefit not only of his extraordinary artistic sensibility, his wise counsel and his inspirational leadership, but also of his impeccable human values, warmth and charm. That said, we cannot help but understand that he wishes to have more personal time after many years of service to the arts and we salute and thank him for his formidable accomplishments and significant contributions both to City Opera and to opera in general. Paul Kellogg’s vision for City Opera has charted our course for the coming years. We are grateful beyond measure and will miss him profoundly.”

Mr. Kellogg, who took on the management of City Opera in January of 1996, had been the director of the Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown New York since 1979. After coming to City Opera he remained at Glimmerglass Opera as Artistic Director, allowing the two companies to share in thirty productions in ten years, with three more in preparation. Mr. Kellogg has also announced that he will leave Glimmerglass Opera at the end of its 2006 summer season.

2005-2006 marks the tenth year of Paul Kellogg’s tenure as General and Artistic Director of New York City Opera. Under his leadership City Opera has continued to flourish as one of the country’s preeminent cultural institutions, widely acclaimed for its performing excellence, innovative repertory, and mentorship of gifted young American singers and composers.

Since Mr. Kellogg’s inaugural season, City Opera has added 62 new productions to its repertory—an achievement unmatched by any other American opera company. This new work has included an acclaimed cycle of Baroque operas, innovative re-imaginings of standard and rarely performed works, and the New York and world premieres of operas by leading American composers including Michael Torke, Jake Heggie, Mark Adamo, and Charles Wuorinen. He has also overseen the company’s development of a uniquely theatrical production style which pairs visionary theater directors and designers with today’s finest young singers, winning new audiences for the art form. In 1999, under Mr. Kellogg’s aegis, VOX: Showcasing American Composers was created - the country’s only festival devoted to orchestral readings of new American operas, furthering the company’s leadership role in American opera.

In addition to his responsibilities with City Opera, Mr. Kellogg has had a twenty-five year affiliation with the Glimmerglass Opera, which he ran as General Director and where he remains Artistic Director. During his time at Glimmerglass Opera, Mr. Kellogg presided over the construction of the Alice Busch Opera Theater, one of the finest venues for opera in the country. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of OPERA America and serves on the boards of Shen Wei Dance Arts and the New York State Historical Association.

Mr. Kellogg, a native of Hollywood, California, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas. He spent the following years studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, and taught in a lycée in the Lorraine under a French government grant while continuing his studies at the University of Nancy. He entered graduate school at Columbia University and began teaching French at the Allen-Stevenson School in New York, where in 1967 he was appointed Assistant Headmaster and then Head of the Lower School. Mr. Kellogg moved to Cooperstown, New York in 1975 to write, and three years later joined the Glimmerglass Opera.

[Source: NYC Opera Press Release, dated 15 September 2005]

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