Pensacola Opera Announces New Leadership

By Francisco Salazar

Pensacola Opera has announced a major leadership realignment.

In a statement Board Chairman Brian Baumgardner said, “Since 2015, Pensacola Opera has been in a constant state of a strategically planned transition, which now—seven years later—draws to a successful close. With our company’s 40th anniversary just around the corner, we plan an exciting future with a newly aligned team, which is well poised to continue our company’s distinguished legacy. After 20 years of outstanding service to our organization, Jerome Shannon will retire from his position as Artistic Director, initiating a realignment of all leadership positions effective August 1, 2022. Cody Martin will assume the title of Music Director and Corey McKern will join the company as Artistic Director, with Chandra McKern’s title revised from Executive to General Director. And I’m thrilled to announce that Maestro Shannon has agreed to continue his association with the company as Principal Guest Conductor.”

Shannon joined Pensacola Opera in 2015 as the Managing Director and was named Executive Director in 2018. She recently served as the Director of Education and Outreach at Nashville Opera and was the Education Director at Pensacola Opera from 2010-2012.

Meanwhile, baritone Corey McKern has previously performed with Opera Birmingham, Inland North West Opera, Pensacola Opera, Missoula Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, and Tallahassee Symphony.

Conductor and pianist Cody Martin joined Pensacola Opera in 2017 and in his current position, he oversees the training of five Artists in Residence each season, conducts select mainstage performances, and manages an ongoing series of performances, lectures, and educational offerings throughout the region.