This season at Virginia Opera
Sep 17, 2019
Russell Allen from Virginia Opera
This season at Virginia Opera

Russell P. Allen began his second tour-of-duty with Virginia Opera in September, 2011. He had been General Manager from 1994-2000. Allen previously served as Executive Director of The Washington Ballet and Orlando Ballet.  During his tenure in ballet management, Allen partnered with artistic directors Bruce Marks, Fernando Bujones, and Septime Webre.
Prior to his seven years in ballet, Allen served as General Manager for The Atlanta Opera, following his six years at Virginia Opera. His work with Virginia Opera in the 90s saw the organization through both its 20th and 25th gala seasons, and through six years of growth in both audience size and contributed revenue. 
Throughout his tenure serving major arts institutions, Allen has served as an independent arts consultant in both fundraising and administrative development including his most recent assignments with Young Audiences of Virginia in Hampton Roads and Dance Metro DC in Washington, DC. He also has had significant involvement with the OPERA America Field Services Program and the National Endowment for the Arts On-Site Review Program. Mr. Allen also worked for sixteen years in symphony management; eight years of which was as Vice President and General Manager of The Phoenix Symphony.
As a leader in the cultural arena, Allen has been active on grant review panels for state arts commissions in Texas, Arizona, and Maryland.  He also has served on both the opera and dance panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Allen has been a member of the Valley Leadership Institute in Phoenix, the Civic Leadership Program in Hampton Roads, and served on a legislative sub-committee of the Virginia General Assembly on the state’s arts funding initiatives. He also served for four years as Chair of the Executive Directors Council of the Hampton Roads Cultural Alliance.
Allen was a double major in English and Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Celeste Godin has been noted for both her singing and acting around New England, having “owned the stage as diva house wife” Marissa in A Case of Anxiety (Boston Globe) with Boston Opera Collaborative, and having given a "completely brilliant" performance as "vocal powerhouse and dramatically charismatic" Rodolfo (Boston Musical Intelligencer) in La Femme Bohème with MetroWest Opera. She is thrilled to be joining the Virginia Opera Emerging Artists Program this year, where she will be covering Tosca (Tosca), Beatrice and Matilde (Il Postino), and performing as Mabel and Ruth in a touring production of Pirates of Penzance. Before joining Virginia Opera, Celeste performed as Micaela (La Tragédie de Carmen) and covered Guenevere (Camelot) with Charlottesville Opera. She was selected as a Boston District Winner for MONC in 2018, and appeared as a chorister and soloist with Odyssey Opera. She attended New England Conservatory (MM, Vocal Pedagogy; GD, Vocal Performance) and studies with Bradley Williams.