New Charlottesville Opera director gears up for summer season

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- When presented with the opportunity to move to Charlottesville to lead the Charlottesville Opera as it enters its 42nd season, new General Director David O'Dell was thrilled.

"This was always a favorite destination for my wife Amelia and myself," said O'Dell, who will relocate from Amarillo, Texas, where he's been general and artistic director of Amarillo Opera for the past nine years.

O'Dell previously lived in Wisconsin, and in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he was the general director of Triangle Opera. He also launched a summer opera festival there.

He says he's interested in expanding the Charlottesville Opera summer season possibly by adding performances or productions, and he hopes to make opera accessible to everyone in the community.

"I'm also really looking forward to digging in and using the opera as a catalyst for civic engagement through education for both adults and children in the region," he said.

The Charlottesville Opera was founded in 1978 as the Ash Lawn Opera. It relocated its performances to the Paramount Theater in 2009 and changed its name in 2017.

O'Dell was hired after a nationwide search. He has already begun working remotely and hopes to move to the area in the next couple of months.

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