Washington National Opera (WNO) today announced Christina Scheppelmann, WNO's Director of Artistic Operations, will step down effective November 30, 2012.
A mainstay of the company since 2002, Ms. Scheppelmann's work has included engaging world-renowned artists, producing new works, overseeing new broadcast and simulcast initiatives, and presenting ambitious and diverse repertory to Washington audiences. While at the Opera she has overseen management of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and helped to create the American Opera Initiative, a comprehensive new commissioning program for young American composers and librettists. Ms. Scheppelmann will announce her forthcoming plans at a later date.
"It's been such a pleasure to work with Christina Scheppelmann over the last 10 years. Whether at our board meetings or at our audience Q&A's, her passion for opera is infectious," said WNO Board Chairman Jacqueline B. Mars. "WNO is grateful for the important mark she has left on our company."
"Christina has served Washington National Opera well in her decade here," said Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser. "Her hard work and diligence were key to making WNO's recent affiliation with the Kennedy Center a success."
"Christina has been a wonderful colleague. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of opera and a sharp ear; she has brought many wonderful singers to Washington for the first time," added WNO Executive Director Michael L. Mael. "We will continue to reap the rewards of her artistic leadership for seasons to come."
Plácido Domingo, then Washington Opera's Artistic Director, hired Ms. Scheppelmann in 2002 to be the Artistic Administrator. Before coming to Washington, she spent seven years as Artistic Administrator of the San Francisco Opera. She has also served in artistic roles at the Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice and at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. She began her career in the arts as an artist manager for Walter Beloch Artists Management in Milan. She is a regular jury member at national and international vocal competitions, including the Richard
Tucker Awards, the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, and the Belvedere, Viñas, and Rimsky-Korsakov competitions. She has been a panelist on the Metropolitan Opera Quiz and has reviewed grant applications for the National Endowment for the Arts. A native of Hamburg, Germany, she speaks five languages (English, German, Spanish, Italian, and French) and was named a Commendatore dell'Ordine della Solidarieta by the Italian government.
Reflecting on her time at WNO, Ms. Scheppelmann said "I owe thanks to Plácido Domingo, to WNO's great board, and to Michael Kaiser for all of their support. This company has a phenomenal staff and first-rate orchestra and chorus-it was for me such a great experience working with all of them, and to plan, program, and cast for our fabulous audiences. After 10 years I will definitely miss WNO and D.C., but I am also very excited for the future."
Ms. Scheppelmann will remain active with the company through November 30 and will fulfill all duties for the fall performances of WNO's 2012-2013 season, including the first performance of WNO's new American Opera Initiative.