Opera Carolina Names New General Director

By Francisco Salazar

Dr. Shanté Williams has been named the new general director of Opera Carolina, effective July 1.

Williams will succeed James Meena, who currently serves as general director and principal conductor. She will be the first woman and first person of color to lead Opera Carolina, which was founded in 1948.

In a statement Williams said, “Opera Carolina’s remarkable 75-year history of excellence in opera, education and community leadership make it one of the premier arts organizations in North Carolina. Having been fortunate enough to serve on the board of directors, I am especially honored to carry the organization’s remarkable reputation forward. I look forward to leading the business operations as Maestro Meena continues to serve as Artistic Director. With a dynamic staff and passionate board, we will embrace and expand the company’s role as a leader in Charlotte’s artistic community and an agent for healing, inspiration and joy.”

Board Chair Carol Kendrick added, “On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am thrilled Dr. Williams is joining us as our next general director. As a Charlotte native, she brings to the role a track record of success in fundraising and business, and we were collectively impressed by her extensive credentials and past support of Opera Carolina. We are confident we have found the right person to lead and inspire our community as we emerge from the pandemic and raise Opera Carolina to the next level of excellence.”

Williams currently serves as CEO of Black Pearl Vision and global CEO of its parent company, Black Pearl Global Investments, a $25 million venture capital fund.