Kathryn Smith began her position as General Director of Madison Opera in July 2011, following seven years as General Director of Tacoma Opera in Washington and a previous tenure as assistant artistic administrator at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Smith has distinguished herself as a strong leader throughout her career and is credited with rebuilding Tacoma Opera after the company had been reduced to a one-production season. Over the course of her tenure there, she significantly raised the company’s profile, expanding the repertoire to a three-production season including both rarities and mainstream fare, while eradicating years of accumulated debt and operating in a fiscally responsible manner.
A Seattle native and graduate of Harvard University, Smith began working in opera in high school and has worked at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Wolf Trap Opera. In 1997, she joined the Metropolitan Opera’s rehearsal department, and was subsequently promoted to assistant company manager and then to assistant artistic administrator. She received ArtsFund’s 2008 Outstanding Achievement in the Arts Award and has judged for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and Portland Opera’s Lieber Competition.