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Kirk Severtson (Conductor/Vocal Coach) serves as musical director of the Crane Opera Ensemble, coaches singers and pianists, and teaches classes in art song repertoire and accompanying. Recent performances of the Crane Opera Ensemble under his musical direction have garnered numerous first-place awards from the National Opera Association and The American Prize, as well as honors from the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.
His professional operatic activity as coach/pianist has included six recent productions at The Dallas Opera, including three notable world premieres in 2015: GREAT SCOTT by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, and BECOMING SANTA CLAUS by Mark Adamo, and EVEREST by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer (for all of which he also played in the orchestra), as well as ten seasons on the music staff of Opera Saratoga (formerly Lake George Opera). Previous to these, he coached at Opera North (NH), the Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), the Cincinnati Opera outreach program, the Rising Star Singers festival, Dorian Opera Theater, and as a Vocal Chamber Music Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.
A versatile collaborative artist, he appears frequently as pianist and harpsichordist in song and chamber music recitals, and as principal keyboardist with the Orchestra of Northern New York. He served six years as chair of the Performance Department at Crane and continues to work actively with the National Opera Association, serving as Associate Executive Director. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (D.M.A. and M.M., both in piano performance) and Luther College (B.A. with majors in music, math, and computer science).