Central City Opera’s General/Artistic Director Pelham Pearce
Pelham G. Pearce was selected in 1996 as Managing Director for Central City Opera, the fifth oldest opera company in the United States, with a nationally acclaimed Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program and annual Summer Festival. He was named General Director in May 1998.
He previously held the post of General Director for Mobile Opera from 1986-1996. During his tenure at Mobile Opera, Mr. Pearce produced the world premiere of Thea Musgrave’s The Story of Harriet Tubman, which subsequently toured throughout the state of Alabama. Committed to developing new audiences through outreach and education, Mr. Pearce led the Music, Words, Opera! program, which resulted in four new works, written, created and produced by students. The middle school portion of the program was a pilot project for OPERA America.
Nationally, Mr. Pearce has served as a member of the grants review panel and chaired the overview panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, and he previously served on the OPERA America Board of Directors. He also served as a juror for the Rosa Ponselle International Voice Competition and has judged regional Met auditions. During his first year at Central City Opera, the company produced its first CD of The Ballad of Baby Doe under the Newport Classics label, and expanded its touring program throughout Colorado with a new program called Opera in the Rockies, which was honored by OPERA America. Under his leadership, Central City Opera presented the first American production of Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana in 2001, the world premiere of Gabriel’s Daughter in 2003 and numerous other regional premieres. Mr. Pearce is credited with reinvigorating the company’s artistic vision.