Our 2011 Acting Chorus Masters

As we mentioned a few months back, our long time Chorus Master, Timothy Todd Simmons, left us to become General Manager of New Orleans Opera. We now have something new to add - three new things to add in fact - our Acting Chorus Masters for the 2011 season.

Acting Chorus Master, Turandot
Dr. Charles Prestinari currently serves as Chorus Master of the New York City Opera, a position he has held since 2008; prior to that he was assistant chorus master from 2004-2007. At New York City Opera, he has prepared and assisted in preparation for opera choruses on over 40 different operas. While obtaining graduate degrees in choral conducting from Indiana University, he held the position of Chorus Master of the Indiana University Opera Theatre for seasons 2001 through 2003 and opera coach from 2001-through 2004 with that organization and on the faculty of the IU School of Music. He has also held accompanist positions at the Brevard Summer Music Festival in North Carolina and the Carmel Bach Festival in California, and served as guest chorus master at the Manhattan School of Music in 2006 and 2009. He returns to San Diego Opera where he first performed as Acting Chorus Master for the 2008 production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.

Acting Chorus Master, Der Rosenkavalier and Faust
San Diego Opera debut. Walter Huff has been Chorus Master for The Atlanta Opera for twenty-two years, having prepared the chorus in over 70 productions. Mr. Huff received degrees from the Oberlin and Peabody conservatories and has performed with singers throughout Europe and the United States. He has served as coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre, Washington National Opera, and Baltimore Opera Company and has performed in master classes presented by renowned singers such as Sir Peter Pears, Licia Albanese, Eileen Farrell, and Elly Ameling. He has been musical director for The Atlanta Opera Studio, Georgia State University Opera, and Actor’s Express. Mr. Huff was chosen as one of four Atlanta artists to receive the first Loridans Arts Awards, honoring exceptional contributions to the arts life of Atlanta. In June 2008, The Atlanta Opera Chorus under Mr. Huff’s direction sang critically acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and on tour in Granada, Normandy, and Luxembourg.

Acting Chorus Master, Carmen
San Diego Opera debut. Yugoslavian-born Kosta Popovic has worked as Assistant Chorus Master with the Metropolitan Opera from 2002 to 2008 and served as an assistant conductor at the Met for eleven seasons. Additionally, Kosta Popovic has collaborated with Opera Pacific, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Washington National Opera in the U.S., as well as the Teatro Municipal, Santiago, Chile; the Sächsische Staatsoper, Dresden, Germany; the Spoleto Festival, Spoleto, Italy; the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy; and the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon, Portugal. Mr. Popovic holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Belgrade Music Academy, a Master’s of Music degree from The Juilliard School, and in 1995 completed course work in doctoral studies with a concentration in keyboard collaborative arts and choral music at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


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