Mary Birnbaum to Be Opera Saratoga’s New General & Artistic Director

By David Salazar

Opera Saratoga has appointed a new general and artistic director.

The company revealed that Mary Birnbaum will take over the position for Artistic Director Lawrence Edelson whose eight-year tenure ended with the 2022 season. She will be the 10th general director in the company’s history.

In the new role, she will be tasked with producing the annual opera festival and leading the Opera Saratoga staff in all aspects of the company’s development.

“We are incredibly excited and honored to have Mary Birnbaum join Opera Saratoga. She was selected after an extensive nationwide search, in which we interviewed many highly qualified candidates,” said Opera Saratoga Board President Steve Rosenblum in an official press statement. “Mary’s level of enthusiasm and love of opera are infectious and I am certain she will be an inspirational leader for the company as well as an integral part of the Saratoga Springs community.”

Birnbaum is on the faculty at The Juilliard School and has also been a stage director and artistic leader. She was nominated for the “Best Newcomer” award at the 2015 International Opera Awards and was also a recipient of the James S. Marcus Directing Fellowship at Juilliard.

“I am thrilled to accept the position of General and Artistic Director of Opera Saratoga and look forward to collaborating with the talented staff and superior board of directors to bring exceptional music theater to Saratoga Springs and the surrounding communities,” Birnbaum noted. “The company has been a leader in our field under the direction of the board and Larry Edelson and I will be proud to continue the company’s tradition of producing new operatic works as well as traditional works from the canon of opera and music theater. Part of the allure of working with Opera Saratoga was the richness of the artistic and intellectual community in the area and I can’t wait to find ways to partner with other local organizations.”