Opera Kelowna artistic director steps down

Babbel leaving the opera

Alexandra Babbel, founding artistic director of Opera Kelowna, will be leaving at the end of the year to work with the Canadian Music Festivals Adjudicators' Association.

Opera Kelowna was founded in 2013 and has since been recognized across North America for its artistry and commitment to excellence.

The Opera Kelowna Society announced Babbel's departure on Monday.

"Having completed its strategic planning, and having put in place a new governance structure, Alexandra feels that now is the time to move on," the board said.

"It's time for a new talent with a fresh perspective to step in and take the helm. Opera is evolving. The expression of opera in Western Canada needs to address relevant topics, new works and diverse and inclusive experiences. My life energy has been used to create this platform. It's now time for a successor to take it to the next level," said Babbel.
Babbel has invested 28 years into opera, with an international career as a lyric soprano, 11 international tours with various ensembles, and her work as an instructor with young opera students.
"Opera Kelowna would not exist without Alexandra, our founding artistic director. We are confident in charting a new course for the society, but will certainly miss Alexandra's vision, talent, and enthusiasm. We wish her nothing but the best in her new career, in which we know she will succeed wildly," said society Co-Chairs Christa Russell and Allan Neilson.

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