Christina Scheppelmann, general director of Seattle Opera, will complete her five-year contract at the end of the 2023/24 season and will move onto a new position as general director of La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels, Belgium.
“Leading Seattle Opera is a tremendous opportunity,” said Scheppelmann, who came to Seattle from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. “The company boasts an incredible staff, orchestra, chorus, and crew, as well as a wonderful, supportive audience, all of whom I will miss greatly. I love this city and the opera community in this region, which has welcomed me wholeheartedly. I could not pass up the opportunity to lead one of the great European opera companies while also being closer to my family. But for now, there is much work to do and more opera to come in the year ahead, and I look forward to sharing what we have in store.”
Scheppelmann is the fourth general director of Seattle Opera. Under her leadership the company produced a world premiere, launched cornerstone programs, expanded its community partnerships, and brought over 100 new artists to Seattle for company debuts, with nearly 50 coming from abroad.
Under Scheppelmann’s leadership, Seattle Opera solidified its position as one of the most important opera companies in the United States. Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after her arrival, Seattle Opera thrived. It was among the few opera houses in the country that successfully staged its entire 2020/21 season during the pandemic-induced shutdown. This was accomplished by creating innovative film adaptations of the originally planned productions. Throughout this challenging period, Seattle Opera released four complete opera films, engaged over twenty artists for online recitals, and expanded its educational initiatives with online classes, libretto-writing workshops, youth programs, and the Path with Art Veteran’s Choir. Moreover, Seattle Opera collaborated with Bloodworks Northwest to organize community blood drives at the Opera Center, demonstrating its commitment to the community even in the midst of the pandemic.
“Seattle Opera has been fortunate to collaborate with a general director of Christina’s caliber, and thanks to her leadership, the company is well positioned to build on its successes,” said Board President Lesley Chapin Wyckoff. “That Christina has accepted an offer to head one of Europe’s most important opera companies is a testament to her abilities and her excellent work in Seattle, which has ensured a bright, promising future for Seattle Opera. We could not be more proud of what she has accomplished here and we wish her the best in this exciting new opportunity.”