Timothy Nelson, who spent ten years as the Artistic Director of the American Opera Theater in Baltimore, will return to the area after the conclusion of this season to take over the reins of In Series from retiring AD Carla Hübner. Ms. Hübner, the Founding Artistic Director, is departing after leading the company for thirty-six years.
After leaving the American Opera Theater in 2012, Mr. Nelson toured Europe, undertaking the direction of Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria for the Academy of Ancient Music and Barbican Theatre in London, Ballo in Maschera for the Iford Arts Festival, Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly for Sardinia’s Festival Ente Concerti, Aureliano in Palmira for the famed Festivale della Valle d’Itria in Martina Franca, Riders to the Sea for Amsterdam’s Grachtenfestival, La Voix Humaine for the Residentie Orkest of the Hague, and Giulio Cesare for Opera London. Most recently, he has served as Artistic Director of the Netherlands Opera Studio and Nieuwe Stemmen (“new voice”) of the Rotterdam Opera.
“I am full of joy and excitement at the honor of succeeding Carla Hübner in leading this unique and dynamic company. I look forward to continuing its mission of intimate and innovative productions that truly speak – that create immediate and arresting dramatic experiences – and to exploring new out-of-the-box ways of presenting, producing, reaching out, and conceiving of opera and cabaret as essential theater for the DC community of today,” Nelson said in a statement the company released yesterday.
Nelson is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute, where he originally intended to become a composer. “I was a composer and I wrote two short operas in undergrad when I was at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University,” Nelson said in an interview with an unidentified interlocutor for Grand Rapids Opera. “About halfway through, I had a severe car accident and had to take about two years off. I decided to go backpacking through Europe in between returning to school, and I visited Paris Opera House and happened to go see a Rameau opera. At the time, I didn’t see myself as a stage director, and within 45 seconds of the opera, I knew I wanted to do stage direction and opera. Looking back, I realized that my making music had been very theatrical, but I never thought of myself that way.”
Nelson and Hübner put together In Series’ 2018-2019 season, which they call “r(E)volution!“, collaboratively. “What a privilege it is to pass the baton to a premier musician and theater artist who embodies an exciting third chapter of artistic innovation and growth for the In Series,” Hübner said of her successor. “Under Timothy’s leadership, the company will add an inspired commitment to the Baroque repertoire and to contemporary work, two ends of the spectrum which we had long dreamed of exploring.”