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Kentucky Opera General Director 

Barbara Lynne Jamison has established herself as a successful arts programmer with a proven record of strategic and fiscal leadership, with a focus on increasing breadth and depth of community impact by connecting people to, and through, the arts. 


Barbara became the sixth General Director in Kentucky Opera’s 67-year history in August 2018. Prior to her appointment as Kentucky Opera’s chief executive and artistic officer, she served as Director of Programs and Partnerships at Seattle Opera and Director of Programs at the Metropolitan Opera Guild (NYC). A builder by nature, she has sparked multiple new initiatives, including a highly acclaimed chamber opera series, creative placemaking projects, and opera commissions and productions for all ages — providing meaningful experiences for people not traditionally served by opera. In her first two years with Kentucky Opera, she has introduced new programming and a unique approach to producing mainstage opera that centers the voices of the community through partnerships and participation. Such projects have successfully demonstrated the power of opera as a vehicle for seeking and inspiring beauty, truth, and reconciliation in a community. 


Her degrees include a BMus in vocal performance form Florida International University, MMus in vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music, and additional doctoral work as Dean’s Scholar at Boston University. Prior to her administrative career, Jamison was an accomplished professional soprano and conductor.


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