Maestro Jorge parodi
Maestro Parodi was closely involved in all of Opera in Williamsburg’s productions to date, and was the conductor of almost all of them. He conducted Opera in Williamsburg’s first full production, L’elisir d’amore in October 2012, and has since conducted our Il Trovatore, Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cosi fan tutte, La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, and La Traviata, and will conduct our Magic Flute in April 2019. After collaborating informally since 2012, Company founder Naama Zahavi-Ely invited Maestro Parodi in early 2015 to be formally the company’s music director, and we are very happy indeed to have him with us.
Artistic and general director
Israeli-born Naama Zahavi-Ely is a music-lover who founded Opera in Williamsburg as one more place where excellent opera productions could be created, performed, and enjoyed. Her policy is to put people first, to search for and engage outstanding performers and creative team without compromise for each opera and artistic performance of Opera in Williamsburg, and to give them the space and time required for creating outstanding opera. The other side of her mission is to nurture a growing community of opera audience, lovers, and supporters in Williamsburg, Virginia and everywhere. She wishes to bring opera of the highest artistic level to local opera lovers, and to attract new audience of all ages and backgrounds to opera. Naama believes that the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, and the Kimball Theatre in particular, are uniquely positioned for creating intimate opera classics of the kind that Opera in Williamsburg specializes in.
Naama enjoys opera and classical music wherever she travels. She holds a PhD in Biblical Studies, specializing in literary aspects of Biblical Hebrew poetry. She taught Biblical Hebrew at the College of William and Mary for over a decade before retiring to her birth country, Israel. Naama works closely throughout the year with Opera in Williamsburg’s advisory board and with other supporters in Williamsburg via email and teleconferencing. She is personally present when Opera in Williamsburg rehearses and performs.
Naama is closely involved with all productions of Opera in Williamsburg, from conception through all the performances. She sets the financial parameters and spending priorities, draws up budgets, engages artists, and finds monetary and non-monetary resources. She also participates in other aspects of the productions, primarily background projections (working with the stage director of each production). She also creates publicity materials, both printed and on-line, including this web site and our Facebook page.
Currently Naama directs Opera in Williamsburg as a volunteer, without monetary compensation. Hopefully, the company will eventually grow to where paid organizational staff is possible.