Opera Cleveland was created in April of this year from a merger between Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Its debut season begins in April 2007 with five productions: Strauss's Salome, Verdi's La traviata, Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Puccini's Tosca.
Sodowsky has more than 20 years of arts experience in opera administration; he most recently served as director of development for Kentucky Opera and has also held executive positions at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Louisville Ballet and the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
He began his career as a professional dancer and has performed with companies including the Louisville Ballet and the Metropolitan Ballet of Wichita. Sodowsky holds a BFA from the University of Oklahoma and an MA and MBA from the University Of Cincinnati College-Conservatory Of Music's graduate program in arts management and business.
Commenting on his appointment, Sodowsky said, "I am tremendously excited about this opportunity. Opera Cleveland is a bold new company built on an extraordinary foundation of two great opera traditions. I am inspired by the dedicated, passionate and visionary board of trustees, the talented professional staff and the opportunity to work with artists the caliber of Leon Major and Maestro Richard Buckley."
Board of Trustees president Peter L. Rubin said, "Our national search for a new executive director demonstrated to us, once again, that Cleveland is one of the country's arts capitals. This position attracted candidates from throughout the international opera community and we had the opportunity to consider many talented arts administrators."