Scott Skiba, Executive Artistic Director
Scott has led more than 60 new operatic productions earning critical acclaim for his imaginative stage direction and dynamic physical approach to storytelling. His recent production of A Streetcar Named Desire was praised for "first-rate stage direction... vivid and emotionally charged." Upcoming engagements include directing Dialogues of the Carmelites for Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Opera, Le nozze di Figaro for Cleveland Opera Theater, Suor Angelica for Mobile Opera, Barbiere di Siviglia for Natchez Music Festival, and Don Giovanni for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.
Scott is the Executive Artistic Director of Cleveland Opera Theater where he has directed critically acclaimed productions of La Bohème, Tosca, La Rondine, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Il Tabarro, Pagliacci, Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, Il Segreto di Susanna, and the Cleveland premiere of the new vampire opera, Clarimonde. Additional directing credits include The Student Prince for Opera Grand Rapids, Die Csardasfürstin and Die Fledermaus for Opera Circle Cleveland, He has directed new productions of Tobermory, Roman Fever and Trouble in Tahiti for the Oberlin Conservatory of Music Opera Theater, Serse, La finta giardiniera, and Suor Angelica for Oberlin in Italy, The Crucible, and Falstaff for Martina Arroyo's Role Preparation Program at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, The Medium, Too Many Sopranos and The Crucible for the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music, and The Pirates of Penzance, Dido & Aeneas, and Orpheus in The Underworld for the Interlochen Opera Theater.
Scott has directed interdisciplinary collaborations in non-traditional venues that explore alternative, intimate, and contemporary approaches to opera including: the professional premiere of Sweets By Kate with Marble City Opera, which was performed in an installation at the Knoxville Museum of Art and in a site-specific production at the recently opened Sugar Mama's Bakery in Downtown Knoxville, Marguerite; a world premiere adaptation of Gounod’s Faust, Unplugged, Fiesta, Portrait of a Diva, and Letters from Mary Stuart for Cleveland Opera Theater at the Cleveland Public Theatre, The Spider for Interlochen Opera Theater, the New Opera Project which developed and presented the world premiere of six short operas in collaboration with Interlochen Arts Academy, Parallel 45 Theatre Company and the Inside Out Gallery in Traverse City, Michigan, and Belles Èpoques, a collaboration between Cleveland Opera Theater and EDWINS Restaurant and Institute.
Scott is a frequent guest teacher throughout the United States and in Europe offering Master Classes and workshops on: Acting, Singing Acting, Movement, Physical Characterization, Mask work, Audition techniques, and Professional Development. Recent guest engagements include: The University of Tennessee Knoxville Opera Theater. East Carolina University School of Music, Kent State University, Interlochen Arts Camp, University of Central Missouri, Christopher Newport University, and the Musica nelle Marchè summer program. Scott's former appointments include associate instructor of voice at The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Acting and Movement instructor for the Oberlin Conservatory Vocal Academy for High School Students, and instructor of voice and director of the Interlochen Opera Theater. He is currently the Executive Director of the Oberlin in Italy opera training program in Arezzo, Italy, and he will join the faculty of the Cornish American Song Institute as instructor of Interpretation and Movement in June 2016. Scott is the recently appointed Director of Opera Studies and Associate Professor for the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music.
Domenico Boyagian, Music Director
Known for his savvy style on the podium and ability to communicate, Maestro Domenico Boyagian has proven to be highly valuable, sensitive and compassionate in his aesthetic delivery. Born and raised in Bologna, Italy and the son of the internationally renowned Armenian-Italian Verdi baritone Garbis Boyagian, Mº Boyagian arrived in the U.S. in 2000 to pursue his musical studies in piano and conducting. In the 2014-15 season, Mº Boyagian is guest conductor with Opera North (NH) in his debut conducting La traviata. He is also an invited guest conductor in the fall with the Manhattan School of Music where he will work with young artists in scenes programs.
He is Associate Conductor with Florida Grand Opera conducting Così fan tutte in the spring of 2015 and he returns to Opera Southwest as Associate Conductor in La bohème.In 2013 he was reëngaged to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Costa Rica in critically acclaimed performances of Verdi’s Requiem. He made his New York debut conducting performances of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and served as cover conductor at Florida Grand Opera in Miami. He was invited to return to Albuquerque in 2013 where he conducted Opera Southwest in the première of Ethan Frederick Greene’s opera A Way Home. In Cleveland Mº Boyagian led a production of Szymanowski’s rare and challenging King Roger with Opera Circle.
Particularly adept in the standard Italian repertoire, he made his Canadian debut with Verdi’s La traviata for Opera Belcanto in Toronto and in Italy at Teatro della Regina, La Camerata Musicalle Giovanile Orchestra (Bologna), Assisi Opera and Sofia Festival Orchestra. Equally masterful in orchestral repertoire, in 2011 Domenico Boyagian was named Music Director of the Ohio Philharmonic in Cleveland where he resides and is guest conductor with the Cleveland Philharmonic, Saint Ann Orchestra, and Suburban Symphony Orchestras.
A collaboration with the celebrated Italian pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi produced his recent recording debut for Centaur Records with the Ohio Philharmonic conducting the works of Edvard Grieg including the Holberg Suite, Opus 40. Earlier that year he led the Palm Beach Symphony in a Gala Concert fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago. Mº Boyagian has recently been named “one of 10 most distinguished Italians in the U.S.” by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce in New York, the only musician among them. www.domenicoboyagian.com
Megan Thompson, Director of Education and Outreach
With her background in performance, technical theater, management, and event coordination, Ms. Thompson was appointed Executive Director/Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Light Opera with the intent of developing a company focused on education and outreach in Northeast Ohio. While at the helm, Ms. Thompson led Great Lakes Light Opera to be a leader in presenting accessible opera productions as well as the only company in Northeast Ohio with an adult-focused education program. By late 2016, the company had caught the attention of Cleveland Opera Theater, Cleveland’s premier opera company, and a merger was arranged to better serve Northeast Ohio with the understanding that Ms. Thompson could further pursue her passion in educating audiences about opera and classical music. She assumed the role of Director of Education and Outreach in early 2017, driving the Opera for All outreach initiative, adult and youth education programs, Opera 101 pre-show talks, and all other outreach engagements.
In addition to her role with Cleveland Opera Theater, Megan Thompson currently works at Center for Arts-Inspired Learning as Senior Programs Manager. Center for Arts-Inspired Learning’s mission is to ignite student learning, creativity, and success through the arts, which they do through arts-integrated curriculum. Ms. Thompson coordinates and manages many of their large partnerships, including Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Breakthrough Schools, and Cleveland Public Library. She also designs and manages their volunteer and internship opportunities, and leads program assessment and data collection strategies.
Megan Thompson completed her Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Professor Clifford Billions. Prior to her tenure at CIM, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Central Florida Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Drama and Magna Cum Laude from Stetson University and with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis in vocal performance and psychology.
Cliff Wilson, Artistic Administrator
Cliff Wilson is the Artistic Administrator for the company and works closely with the General Director and Artistic Director. He served as Artistic Administrator of Opera Cleveland until the end of 2010. He has had the opportunity to work with our directors, designers, artists, and technical staff. Prior to Opera Cleveland, he served as the Director of Operations for Lyric Opera Cleveland, a company that produced a summer opera festival each year. Cliff has a Master’s Degree in Education, taught for eleven years in the Cleveland Public Schools, and worked with a local chamber orchestra after teaching. He is glad to assist Cleveland Opera Theater with their fine productions each season.