Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra have today announced the appointment of Evan Rogister as Principal Conductor. Following a unanimous vote by a selection committee comprising of leadership from the WNO Board of Trustees, the Kennedy Center, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, and Washington National Opera Orchestra, Evan will begin this new position – a role created specifically for him – from the 2018/19 season. The initial contract spans until the end of the 2021/22 season.
Since making his debut with WNO in 2014 conducting Moby Dick, Evan has lead productions of Carmen (2015) and Aida (2017) with WNO. On Evan’s appointment, Timothy O’Leary, General Director of WNO, stated, “we are thrilled to welcome Evan Rogister to his new role. Evan is a dynamic rising star, whose fresh perspective, vibrant musicianship, and collaborative style with the WNO Orchestra will help lead our company to new heights.”
Recently, Evan has made house debuts at The Metropolitan Opera conducting Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre leading Puccini’s La bohème. This past season also included Richard Strauss’s Salome at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Royal Swedish Opera. This month, he will lead the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel in a special concert to honour soprano Nina Stemme, the 2018 Birgit Nilsson Prize recipient. Rogister will also conduct Gothenburg Opera’s first ever Ring Cycle beginning in 2018 and ending in 2021 to coincide with the 400th Anniversary of the Swedish city’s founding and will return to the Metropolitan Opera in the 2021/22 season.
“It’s certainly an exciting time to be at the Kennedy Center. I can’t think of two more passionate advocates for our art form than Francesca [Zambello] and Tim and I very much look forward to collaborating with them and being a part of all they have on the horizon for Washington National Opera,” says Evan. “Since 2014, when I started coming to WNO as a guest conductor, I’ve felt a real affinity for the entire company’s spirit of music making—the orchestra, the chorus, the music staff, the Young Artists, the education department—everyone. So I’m thrilled at the opportunity to help shape WNO’s musical endeavors in the next years and communicate their love of opera with the entire community and nation.”
Evan will conduct Washington National Opera’s 2019 gala concert, which will take place at the Kennedy Center Opera House on 18 May. He will then conduct two WNO productions during the 2019/20 season.
The WNO look forward to this new phase with excitement and anticipation.