Resident Artist Faculty & Admistration
Resident Artists of Pittsburgh Opera learn from dedicated guest and resident faculty who represent the best and brightest teachers and performers in the business.
Craig Rutenberg, Mikael Eliasen, and Marlena Malas are frequently found in Pittsburgh Opera rehearsal halls and coaching rooms, while young professional artists over the years have experienced the unique talents of Renate Scotto, Beverly Sills, Regina Resnik, Regine Crespin, Thomas Hampson, Franco Corelli, Luciano Pavarotti, and Sherrill Milnes.
Christopher Hahn, General Director
Christopher Hahn was appointed General Director of Pittsburgh Opera in 2008, having served as Artistic Director since 2000. Since then he has significantly enriched the company’s repertoire, introducing Baroque and contemporary operas presented in a variety of production styles.
Trained in his native South Africa, Mr. Hahn began his career in opera in 1983 at San Francisco Opera as Rehearsal Administrator. He then managed the San Francisco Opera Center, including the world-renowned Merola Opera Program, the country’s leading training program for American singers. Following his 13-year tenure in San Francisco, he served as Artistic Administrator at Los Angeles Opera with Plácido Domingo and Peter Hemmings.
Mr. Hahn’s expertise in recognizing young vocal talent has made him a sought-after juror at American and international vocal competitions, including the Bernstein Competition (Jerusalem), Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the Francisco Viñas Competition (Barcelona), the McAllister Awards and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Antony Walker, Music Director
Widely recognized as one of the hottest talents in the opera field today, Maestro Walker continues his directorship at Pittsburgh Opera through the 2016-17 season, and recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.
Mo. Walker also recently debuted at English National Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor, at Canadian Opera Company in Maria Stuarda, and at Santa Fe Opera in Madama Butterfly. Walker currently serves as Artistic Director of Washington Concert Opera in Washington D.C., co-Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera in Australia and Music Director of Cantillation and the Orchestra of the Antipodes. He was Chorus Master and Staff Conductor for Welsh National Opera from 1998 - 2002 and Musical Director of Sydney Philharmonia Choirs from 1992 -1997.
Since his conducting debut in 1991, Mo. Walker has led nearly 200 operas, large-scale choral and orchestral works and numerous symphonic and chamber works with companies in Europe, North America, and Australia. His extraordinary career includes engagements with Opera Australia, Welsh National Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro Comunale Bologna, Orchestre Colonne (Paris), Cincinnati Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Vancouver Opera, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Opera House Orchestra.
William Powers, Director of Administration and Artistic Operations
Mr. Powers has served as Administrative Director for the Juilliard School’s Department of Vocal Arts and the Juilliard Opera Center. He subsequently joined the Metropolitan Opera’s Artistic Department as the Associate Administrator in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and served in the Met’s Rehearsal Department.
Mr. Powers was General Director of the Berkshire Opera Company, and held posts of Production Manager at The Music Academy of the West and Administrator of the Aspen Opera Theater Center. Mr. Powers has judged for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has served on the Board of Directors of OPERA America.
Mr. Powers holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Hamilton College and an MBA in Finance from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. He is also an alumnus of the Juilliard School’s Professional Intern Program.
Glenn Lewis, Head of Music
A native of Rochester, New York, joined Pittsburgh Opera as Head of Music in the 2007-08 season and made his conducting debut for Pittsburgh Opera in the 2008-09 production of Don Pasquale. Mr. Lewis previously assisted on the productions of I Pagliacci, Romeo & Juliet and The Magic Flute, and served as a vocal coach for the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Program.
In May 2006, he returned to the US after working for 11 years as pianist and conductor in the opera houses of Cologne and Düsseldorf, Germany. Over the years, he has worked with prominent conductors including James Conlon, John Fiore, Donald Runnicles, Antony Walker, Jiri Behlolavek, Jonathan Darlington and Kenneth Montgomery. In the US, he is a regular on the staff of the Santa Fe Opera. In 2007 he made his debut at The Metropolitan Opera, assisting conductor Louis Langree with Iphigénie en Tauride, starring Susan Graham and Placido Domingo. He has also worked with the Washington National Opera, the Kennedy Center and Vancouver Opera.
Mr. Lewis holds a degree in piano performance from Ithaca College and an artist certificate in opera coaching and conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Dorothea Thompson generously sponsors Mr. Lewis's residency.
Mark Trawka, Director of Musical Studies and Chorus Master
Mark Trawka joined Pittsburgh Opera as Director of Musical Studies for the prestigious Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Training Program in the 2003-04 season. In the 2006-07 season, he also took on the position of Chorus Master.
Mr. Trawka coaches and performs with the Resident Artists and has also accompanied renowned mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti in her Pittsburgh recital appearances. He has been a member of the music staff at Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera and Portland Opera (Oregon), where he was principal pianist and assistant chorus master. Mr. Trawka has served as coach/accompanist at Chautauqua Opera and at Glimmerglass Opera for many summer seasons. In the summer of 2006, he was director of the resident artist program at Berkshire Opera.
Educated at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, Mr. Trawka began his operatic career in the Houston Opera Studio and in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.
Marilyn and Howard Bruschi generously sponsor the Director of Musical Studies.
James Lesniak, Associate Coach/Pianist
A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, James Lesniak joined the Pittsburgh Opera music staff in the 2006-07 season. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Indiana University, where he studied with pianists Menahem Pressler, Karen Shaw and Evelyne Brancart. While completing his degrees, he served on the music staff for Mississippi State University and the Indiana University Opera Theatre.
Further studies included an apprenticeship with the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera for two seasons, where he was given his operatic debut in the non-singing/piano playing role of Lazinski in Fedora at the Kennedy Center, accompanying Placido Domingo in the opera. In addition, he has served on the coaching staff of Brevard Music Center, Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and the National Symphony.
For the summer months, Mr. Lesniak returns to the music staff of the prestigious Santa Fe Opera.
Mrs. J. William Futrell generously sponsors Mr. Lesniak's residency.
Emily Grand, Program Administrator
Emily Grand joined Pittsburgh Opera in Fall 2014 as the Manager of Operations and Resident Artist Program.
Previously, Ms. Grand has worked as a freelance Stage Manager and theater professional at various companies around the country, including The Dallas Opera, Utah Opera, Stages St. Louis, and the Glimmerglass Festival. Recently she also acted as a mentor to Stage Management students at the University of Maryland while freelancing in the DC area.
Ms. Grand is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.F.A in Theatre Stage Management, and a member of AGMA.