Announcing New Leadership Roles At Utah Festival Opera
February 27, 2023
UTAH FESTIVAL OPERA & MUSICAL THEATRE (UFOMT) is proud to announce two important promotions. Education Director, Vanessa Ballam, will be given the additional title of Associate Artistic Director effective immediately. Ballam is a well-known presence at UFOMT, both on stage as a principal artist and director as well as heading the company’s education division. In addition to her acting and directing credits, Ballam is currently Professor and Head of Acting at Idaho State University, Founding Director of Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards (UHSMTA), Co-Vice Chair for Region VII – Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF), and a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association.
UFOMT also announces current UFOMT Conservatory Director, Stefan Espinosa, will become Artistic Associate effective immediately. Espinosa brings many years of experience and expertise, both on stage and off, enhancing the Artistic Division of UFOMT. Espinosa remains Conservatory Director in addition to his new duties. Espinosa has appeared with PCPA Theaterfest, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Lyric Repertory Theatre, and Salt Lake Acting Company. He has taught Acting, Voice, and Movement at Idaho State University and is currently on faculty as a Visiting Professor at Utah State University.
The collective experience of Ballam and Espinosa is invaluable to UFOMT, and in these additional capacities, they will help guide the artistic vision of the company moving forward.
Michael Ballam, UFOMT General Director/Founder, created UFOMT in 1992 and the company recently celebrated its 30th season. To date, UFOMT has produced over 1,200 productions, concerts, and musical events since it began.
UFOMT’s 2023 season will include Wagner’s Lohengrin, Verdi’s Aida, Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, Rorem’s Our Town, Bart’s Oliver! and Lutvak’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. In addition, UFOMT will produce, in partnership with the American Festival Chorus & Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem. UFOMT will also bring back the annual Sentimental Journey concert featuring music inspired by popular music of the past.
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