Mar 12, 2017Uncategorized0 comments

“An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down.
It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I’ve left the opera house.”

~ Maria Callas


Change – First it is incredibly stressful and then, if one looks at it and goes about it correctly, it becomes incredibly exciting.  Thus was the case this year with Opera CDA.  Most of you know that our wonderful Artistic Director, Aaron St. Clair felt it necessary to move to California with his beautiful, talented wife and family (what was he thinking?)   We are pleased to announce that Aaron will be remaining with Opera CDA as our Artistic Director – it is just that we won’t be seeing him in person quite as often.  (I have a whole new appreciation for Skype.)    He will continue to personally oversee all artistic components of Opera CDA and ensure that the high quality of performances and performers that we have all enjoyed will continue onward and upward!

We were acutely aware that Aaron’s departure created a void which could only be filled by others who could put their “boots on the ground” here.  With Aaron’s help, we’ve hired 3 new, fabulous people who are hitting the ground running to make this year moves forward seamlessly and beautifully to ultimately define itself as one of our best year’s yet!

Many of you have had the privilege of hearing Dawn Wolski perform.  Dawn is not only an incredibly gifted performer, but she is smart, savvy, well-connected in the Inland Northwest, highly organized, and she has brilliantly set about the task of moving Opera CDA to its fullest potential.  She makes a whirling dervish seem lackadaisical.  We are thrilled to have her on board and cannot wait to watch her ideas become our realities!  You can read more about Dawn and see/hear some of her performances on our website or hers:  https://dawnwolski.com/bio

Those of you who attended our annual meeting last year learned of some of the challenges we’d faced.  I’m pleased to say, that largely with the help of this next man, we have overcome those challenges with zeal and panache!  Shane Riley has proven himself an invaluable Board Member this past year; and now, he has agreed to participate in a more integral way as our Development Director.  Shane comes with a background as a “hands-on leader” offering over 20 years of business acumen in driving fiscal responsibility and operational growth.  Shane’s integrity is evident within seconds of sitting down with him.  He is a decisive, energetic, and innovative collaborator.  Shane has already streamlined and organized our fund-development efforts.  He is a tremendous asset to our organization.  If Shane calls upon you for help —  please donate/sponsor/advertise generously.  Remember – it is not about us…it is about making Shane feel comfortable and successful in his new job!  (Actually…it is totally about us.  Give, Give, Give! )  (For that matter, even if Shane doesn’t call – click the link on our site and Give, Give, Give anyway!)

Lastly, but not leastly, we welcome Hannah Bancroft as our Production Manager.  Hannah’s been behind the scenes (literally) of our productions in the past, but now she will be stepping into a bigger role, taking on the responsibility for the venues, rehearsal spaces, sets, staging, designs, etc.  We are very excited that she has agreed to become more involved in our company!

So, please join me in warmly welcoming Dawn, Shane, and Hannah to their new positions with Opera CDA.  They, along with Aaron, will be working, to borrow Maria Callas’ words – long before the ships sail or the curtains rise to bring you the powerful, moving, magical performances which will stay a part of us long after we’ve left the theatre.

I’m excited.  ☺


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Inland Northwest Opera

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Coeur d'Alene, ID 83816


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