Kathryn Smith has been General Director of Madison Opera since July 2011. She is a board member of OPERA America, a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and has served on an advisory panel for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Her time in Madison has seen an expansion of the repertoire with five company premieres and the creation of the new Studio Artist Program. Under her leadership, the company opened The Madison Opera Center, the company’s artistic and administrative home in downtown Madison which allows for further growth of outreach and education activities.
Smith came to Madison after seven years as General Director of Tacoma Opera, where she won praise for expanding the company’s productions and eradicating years of accumulated debt. She received ArtsFund’s 2008 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award. From 1997 to 2003, Smith worked at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, starting in the rehearsal department and ending as the company’s assistant artistic administrator. She also worked at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Wolf Trap Opera early in her career.
A native of Seattle and graduate of Harvard University, Smith now lives in Madison.