Piedmont Opera’s General Director and Artistic Director is James Allbritten. He is the former Artistic Director of the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the UNCSA. To have an Artistic Director of this quality who also is a full time resident of our community is very unusual for a company of PO’s size. He studied at Indiana University where he worked under a number of renowned conductors. Allbritten is a gifted teacher, conductor, and singer who won the award for teaching excellence during his tenure at UNCSA. Our visiting artists often comment on his high artistic standards and how much they learn from working with him. This reputation allows the company to attract artists with nationally and internationally recognized careers to perform in our productions. Mr. Allbritten has conducted all of Piedmont Opera’s productions since 2004.
Piers Clarkson, joined Piedmont Opera on July 1, 2014, as our Director of Development after serving the last two and half years as the Executive Director of Associated Artists of Winston-Salem. In that position, Piers led the organization through a great period of transition and became firmly entrenched in the local arts sector. Keeping a strong presence in the community, he has maintained a role as an Action Learning Team Coach for the last five years through the Leadership Winston-Salem program and continues to volunteer. Prior to shifting his career to the arts, Piers’ had fifteen years of business background with concentrations in human resources and client relations, enabling him to multi-task through a wide variety of responsibilities.
Jen Rimes, joined Piedmont Opera in September 2012 as Business Manager. Jen has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus. Prior to coming to PO, she worked in the administrative offices of The UNCSA’s Fletcher Opera Institute, The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, and several theatre companies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including Hey City Theater for nine years.
Mariedith Appanaitis, is Piedmont Opera’s Director of Marketing. She holds a MA in Journalism and Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of Memphis and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been a marketing consultant for the company since 2006. Prior to joining PO, Mariedith performed marketing and public relations for RiverRun International Film Festival, The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, The Biltmore Estate and The March of Dimes. She is also a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Bill Volz, is Piedmont Opera’s Production Manager. He is also on the faculty of the School of Design and Production at UNCSA. Bill is an experienced production manager having been on the technical faculty of UNCSA for more than ten years and having previously served as the Director of Design Production and Technology at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.