Annapolis Opera and its Board of Trustees announced today that Maestro Craig Kier will become the company’s next Artistic and Music Director. Craig Kier will succeed Ronald J. Gretz, who announced his retirement in February 2019 after serving as Artistic Director of the Annapolis Opera for 37 years. Kier will assume his role on July 1, 2020 and opens the Annapolis Opera 2020-2021 season conducting Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème.
Board of Trustees President Patrick Lee stated “Craig is an amazing fit for this company and we are privileged to have him as only the second appointed Artistic and Music Director in the company’s forty-seven-year history. We have a shared vision for the future of Annapolis Opera and with his passion, thoughtfulness and deeply personal approach, we are sure of the company’s success in the years to come.”
Kier has garnered high praise while leading performances on both American and international stages. He has conducted at Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Brevard Music Center, Houston Ballet, Opera Birmingham, Atlanta Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Kier began his career as part of Seattle Opera’s music staff and went on to serve as Associate Conductor at Houston Grand Opera and as an assistant with The Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.
In 2014, he was appointed as Director of the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland. Since assuming his position at Maryland Opera Studio, Kier has expanded the program’s activities significantly, including cultivating new work through commissions for the Maryland Opera Studio New Work Reading Series and organizing a festival with The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music to celebrate the composer’s works.
“It is an honor to have been selected to lead Annapolis Opera into its next chapter, building upon the success of Ronald J. Gretz’s legacy. My time in Annapolis leading Tosca illustrated the infinite possibilities that exist in this company. I admire the Board’s desire to more deeply connect the Company to the community it serves and to develop a well-deserved national profile. I look forward to bringing emerging artists and established artists to Annapolis in the years ahead to perform diverse programming which is both familiar and new to our audiences. I am thrilled to lead Annapolis Opera forward during this exciting time in the Opera’s history. “