Lawrence Edelson, Artistic and General Director of Opera Saratoga, announced today the appointment of two new members of the organization's senior staff: Jonathan Blalock will join the company as Development and Patron Services Manager, effective December 4, 2017; and Charla Jeanne Lawson will become Opera Saratoga's new Company Manager, effective January 2, 2018. In addition, the company has announced the upcoming retirement of Patty Finnerty, who has been an integral part of Opera Saratoga for over 20 years, as of January 12, 2018.
Jonathan Blalock joins Opera Saratoga after serving for one year as the Chief Operating Officer at Roven Records, where he worked with the CEO to develop a strategic 3-year plan, including new recording projects, online web-based programming and a distribution/marketing strategy. Jonathan is also the founder of Blalock Branding, a media consulting firm for the performing arts. As a branding consultant, he has earned a reputation for quick results strengthening the positioning and revenue generation of organizations including On Site Opera, The American Pops Orchestra and Candlelight Concert Society. Jonathan is a published author, and has been a frequent podcast host and public speaker for the arts. For ten years, Jonathan has been a leading operatic tenor specializing in twenty-first century music. He has originated nearly two-dozen roles in world premieres with companies including The Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, the PROTOTYPE Festival and Fort Worth Opera. One of his enduring passions has been connecting with patrons, communities and audience members; he looks forward to continuing and deepening this goal in his new full-time role at Opera Saratoga. Blalock has been living in New York City and will now reside in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Charla Jeanne Lawson joins Opera Saratoga from Townsend Opera in Modesto, California. Charla started working with Townsend Opera as a Production Assistant, working her way up to Artistic Administrator, and was most recently appointed Managing Director. She has also served as the Assistant Company Manager for West Edge Opera, an innovative summer festival company in Berkley, California. Charla is an alumna of California State University, Stanislaus having studied Flute Performance. She is a member of the DAR and an active alumna of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, whose mission is to encourage, nurture, and support the art of music. She looks forward to relocating to Saratoga Springs, and sharing her passion for opera with the community. Lawson will be living in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Patty Finnerty first joined Lake George Opera in 1996 as a part-time administrative assistant, and has served in a wide variety of roles with the company over the past 21 years. She was appointed Director of Finance and Administration in 2005, a key role in the leadership of the company for the past 12 years. Patty helped to facilitate the company's move from Glens Falls to Saratoga Springs in 1998, and has been instrumental in strengthening Opera Saratoga's role in the region.