Nashville Opera Ed Director Stuart Holt Heads to The Met

Stuart HoltNashville Opera is losing a highly-regarded member of its family to The Metropolitan Opera. Director of Education and Outreach Stuart Holt becomes the new Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships there on Oct. 17, ArtsNash has learned.

“We are very excited about this tremendous career opportunity which has been offered to (him),” Nashville Opera General and Artistic Director John Hoomes says. “When an opera employee moves forward in the advancement of their career, it speaks very highly for everyone when they are recruited to join the staff of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.”

“After five fantastic years working here and living in Nashville, it is time for this chapter to come to a close,” says Holt, who was director of youth opera programs at Sarasota (Fl.) Opera before joining Nashville Opera in 2007. “…I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with fantastic educators, administrators and community partners during my time in Nashville.”

Among the Nashville Opera initiatives Holt oversaw were Opera On Tour, which last school year alone played for nearly 25,000 students, teachers, and parents in more than 40 different schools throughout 18 Middle Tennessee counties, and the Met HD Live in Schools screenings of Met operas for Metro Nashville Public Schools students. “My new position will continue to work with schools and school programs, but on a much larger scale,” Holt notes. “This was not a job I applied for; it came out of my work with (Metropolitan Opera Director of Education) Marsha Drummond.  She contacted me about the position and really helped to pave the way to make it a possibility and now a reality.”

Holt’s last day in his Noah Liff Opera Center office is Oct. 12. A national search is now underway for his replacement.

*Photo by Reed Hummell courtesy Nashville Opera.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (