Houston resident named artistic director at Skylight Music Theatre
Texas native Viswa Subbaraman, a conductor with global experience, has been selected as the new artistic director of Milwaukee's Skylight Music Theater.
Subbaraman is the artistic director and founder of Opera Vista in Houston. He is also the former assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France. His new position with Skylight will begin in the 2013-14 season.
"Skylight has an outstanding national reputation for doing top-notch work, and I am excited to be joining such an inspiring and vibrant organization," Subbaraman said in a press release. "To have this opportunity to shape the artistic vision of one of the country's premier musical theatre companies is a true honor. I look forward to working with Skylight, its artists and audiences as well as Milwaukee's diverse arts community."
"Viswa's ideas for creating memorable musical theatre experiences and building new audiences are innovative and exhilarating," said Amy Jensen, Skylight's managing director, in the press release. "He has a distinct knack for embracing the future while honoring the past. We think our longtime patrons will continue to love Skylight with Viswa at the artistic helm, and those who haven't had the chance to get to know us will find his vision has a place for them, too."
Subbaraman grew up in West Texas and founded the Houston contemporary opera company Opera Vista in 2005. With that company, his accomplishments have included the world premiere of James Norman's "Wake," the Texas and New Orleans premieres of Amy Beach's "Cabildo" and the creation of the annual Vista Competition for new opera. He was named one of Houston Press's "100 Most Creative People" for 2012 and received the Houston Press MasterMind Award in 2010.
Internationally, Subbaraman is known for his role as assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France in Paris from 2002 to 2005. He also served as visiting assistant and cover conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. During his career, the 35-year-old has also played guest conductor to the Beethoven Orchester in Bonn, Germany; the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.; the Bombay Chamber Orchestra in Bombay, India; and the Thames Philharmonia in London.
"The fact that Skylight does everything, from opera to musical theatre to operettas and revues, I really find that intriguing," Subbaraman said. "One of my goals is to develop a conversation with the audience over the course of a season. I want every single production we do during a season to continue a dialogue, whether it's about heroism, revolution, fairy tales or some other part of the human experience."
Subbaraman has a bachelor's degree in music and biology from Duke University, a master's degree in music performance and orchestral conducting from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
He will stay in Houston through Opera Vista's 2012-13 theater season before moving to Milwaukee.
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