Skylight Music Theatre's New Artistic Director Is Viswa Subbaraman

News   Skylight Music Theatre's New Artistic Director Is Viswa Subbaraman
Viswa Subbaraman, artistic director and founder of Opera Vista in Houston and former assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France, was named the new artistic director of Skylight Music Theatre, the Milwaukee resident Equity theatre devoted to musicals, operetta and English-language opera.

Viswa Subbaraman
Viswa Subbaraman Photo by Mark Frohna

Subbaraman will start his new position with the 2013-14 season. Skylight is celebrating its 54th anniversary in 2012.

Subbaraman, 35, grew up in West Texas and founded Opera Vista, Houston's innovative contemporary opera company, in 2005. At Opera Vista, Subbaraman's accomplishments included the world premiere of James Norman's Wake…, the Texas premiere and historic New Orleans premiere of Amy Beach's Cabildo and the creation of the annual Vista Competition for new opera. He was named one of the Houston Press' 100 Most Creative People for 2012 and received the Houston Press' MasterMind Award in 2010.

He was assistant conductor of the Orchestre National de France in Paris from 2002 to 2005 and served as visiting assistant/cover conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. He has been featured as guest conductor with orchestras worldwide, including the Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn, Germany; the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC.; the Bombay Chamber Orchestra in Bombay, India; and the Thames Philharmonia in London.

His work includes both opera and musical theatre, including The Silent Prince (world premiere opera), Wake… (world premiere opera), Guys & Dolls, Into the Woods and more.

Subbaraman has a bachelor's degree in music and biology from Duke University. He has a master's degree in music performance and orchestral conducting from Texas Tech University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He traveled to France as a Fulbright Grant recipient in 2002, and was granted the first grant renewal in the history of Fulbright France. He was a delegate to the 2010 Asia21 Summit and has been selected to participate in the 2012 Indiaspora. Skylight's current artistic director, Bill Theisen, announced in January 2011 that he would step down after the 2012-13 season, his ninth with the company. Theisen was an advisor in the search process for his successor.

Subbaraman will stay in Houston through Opera Vista's 2012-13 season before moving to Milwaukee. He will visit often as he begins to put together his first season as Skylight's artistic director. Skylight’s 2013-14 season on two stages will be announced in the spring.

Skylight's current 2012-13 season includes Avenue Q, The Sound of Music, Here's a Howdy Do — The Mischievous World of Gilbert & Sullivan, Edith Piaf Onstage, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Sing Me a Story and The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess.

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