Biography

Joseph Walsh is a conductor admired for his ability to combine dramatic flair and theatrical excitement with sensitivity, detail and balance. He has most recently served as General Director, Artistic Director and Conductor at Lyric Opera Virginia with two decades of experience in presenting and conducting opera in Virginia, across the country and internationally. He served as Musical Director for Lyric Opera Virginia’s 2013-2014 productions which included Viva Verdi!, La Bohème and Master Class.He was involved in the musical preparation of more than sixty-five Virginia Opera productions since first joining the company in 1995, serving recently as Associate Artistic Director and Associate Conductor.During the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Walsh was praised by the Washington Times for his “top notch” and “letter perfect” Così fan tutte in a run of performances on the stages of Virginia Opera, where he also conducted Madama Butterfly, drawing “ravishing sounds from Richmond Symphony musicians in the pit” according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. That same season, he made his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut conducting Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment. He took the podium at Virginia Opera during the 2009-2010 season for productions of The Daughter of the Regiment and the highly acclaimed Don Giovanni, about which The Virginian-Pilot critic Lee Teply wrote, “Virginia Opera’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” did the amazing– it did not have imbalances and succeeded on every level. Being one of the greatest of all operas, the experience was one of the best offered by the company in recent years, and one that could rival those of bigger companies.” In past seasons, Mr. Walsh has served as principal conductor for numerous Virginia Opera productions, leading the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony, including Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, The Elixir of Love and The Pirates of Penzance.He has conducted Virginia Opera performances of Tosca, The Tales of Hoffman, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and The Merry Widow.He is currently Music Director of Mason Opera at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mr. Walsh has been a regular conductor at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy where he conducted and served as Stage Director for productions of The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro and Gianni Schicchi leading the Cluj-Napoca Philharmonic Orchestra of Romania and the Collegium Philarmonicum of Naples. In 2010, he returned to Seoul, Korea to conduct Così fan tutte after making his debut there the previous summer leading performances of a double bill of Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Mozart’s The Impresario as part of George Mason University’s International Summer Music Institute. Mr. Walsh has prepared the Majescoral and soloists Aundi Marie Moore and Michael Redding for appearances in a Highlights of Porgy and Bess at the Maputo International Music Festival in Mozambique, Africa.He served on the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Panel and judged the Middle Eastern District of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions in Washington D.C.Mr. Walsh was instrumental in the development of Virginia Opera’s Young Artist Program, a nationally recognized intensive training program for young artists.He co-founded the company’s STAR program (Student Training and Artistic Residency), which offered internships in opera to gifted vocal students from The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Walsh is co-creator of several educational touring productions, including The Wonderful Wizard of Opera, Giovanni and the Beanstalk and The New Adventures of Alice in Operaland, the last of which will be presented during the 2014-2015 season by the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre schools outreach program. He was involved in the commissioning of several productions for Virginia Opera’s Education and Community Outreach Program including Seymour Barab’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Cinderella, as well as John David Ernest’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Mr. Walsh has served on the coaching faculties of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He prepared Virginia Opera’s chorus for the inaugural concert of the new Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News in a program that featured Michael Crawford and the New York City Pops, as well as a festive evening joining the forces of Richmond’s three major arts organizations, the Richmond Ballet, The Richmond Symphony and Virginia Opera in performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He served as Musical Director for An Evening of Moonlight and Music at The Huntington Art Collections, Museum and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California, featuring artists and selections from Virginia Opera’s 2004 production of The Merry Widow and has presented master classes at The Bethesda Music Festival, Bel Cantanti Opera Summer Festival, Old Dominion University, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Susan Ormont’s New York Auditions Project.

July, 2014

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