WGO Names Opera Singer, Alan Held, as New Artistic Director

January 3, 2019

News Release
  For Immediate Release
  January 3, 2019

Dennis Arnold, President/CEO             www.WichitaGrandOpera.org          Alan Held, Artistic Director
Century II Performing Arts Center     225 W. Douglas     Wichita, KS 67202

Contact: Tony Applegate | Tel: (316) 262-8054 | Email: tapplegate@wichitagrandopera.org

Wichita Grand Opera Names Highly Acclaimed  International Opera Singer,
Alan Held,
as New Artistic Director

(WICHITA, KS – January 3, 2019) – The Wichita Grand Opera President and CEO, Dennis Arnold, along with the Wichita Grand Opera Executive Board has named internationally renowned opera singer, Alan Held, as Artistic Director commencing January 2, 2019.  Mr. Held will be in charge of all artistic planning for the company beginning with the 2019-2020 season.



One of the most respected performing artists over the last 33 years, Alan Held has been recognized as “One of the leading singing actors on the opera stage”.  He has regularly appeared in leading roles at The Metropolitan Opera, The Vienna State Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, The Paris Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The San Francisco Opera, and The Washington National Opera. He has appeared with the leading singers, directors, and conductors of the last half century and regularly appears in concert with the world’s most noted orchestras.  He has appeared often at the BBC Proms, the Munich Opera Festival and the Salzburg Festival.  His numerous audio and video recordings can be found on such labels as EMI, Orfeo, Arthaus Musik, and Deutsche Gramophon.


Mr. Held is a noted educator and clinician and is currently the Artist in Residence for the Washington National Opera Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.  He is currently the Director of Opera Studies and an Associate Professor of Voice at Wichita State University and has served as The Ann and Dr. Dennis Ross Faculty of Distinction at WSU since 2014.  Since 2002, he has given highly acclaimed yearly master classes at Yale University.  His students regularly appear nationally and internationally on the world’s stages and in the premiere young artist programs including The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program and the San Francisco Adler Fellowship Program.  Since 2016, he has been a guest Master Teacher at The Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute.


A native of Illinois, Mr. Held received his undergraduate degree from Millikin University.  He received his Masters degree from Wichita State University.  He has received numerous honors and awards including the Birgit Nilsson Prize.  He received and Honorary Doctorate from Millikin University in 2000.  In 2014, Mr. Held received the Dora Mavor Moore Award (“Outstanding Male Performance”) presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.


Mr. Held’s arrival at the Wichita Grand Opera brings a reunion with the new (July, 2018) President/CEO of the company, Dennis Arnold.  The two first met while performing Shenandoah at the Crown Uptown Dinner Theater in 1985.  Mr. Held performed with the Wichita Grand Opera when he appeared with his fellow WSU alumni, Sam Ramey and Joyce DiDonato in the WGO 10th Anniversary Concert in 2011.


Mr. Held will assist with the Wichita Grand Opera’s already announced productions in the 2018-2019 season.  These include a nearly sold out production of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, which will be seen January 25 in the Century II Mary Jane Teall Theater.  The WGO will present Georges Bizet’s masterpiece, Carmen, in the Century II Concert Hall on April 27.  Other currently scheduled performances include Benjamin Britten’s, Noah’s Flood, on May 19 at the McPherson Opera House and May 23 at the Century II Mary Jane Teall Theater.  The annual Wichita Grand Opera gift the community, Opera on the Lake, will be presented on May 30 at Bradley Fair.


For more information about the 2018-19 Season, call the WGO Box Office at (316) 262-8054, or visit WichitaGrandOpera.org.