scott williamson

General & Artistic Director / blog


Scott Williamson is the General and Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke, where he was an Associate Conductor, Chorus Master, and artist beginning in 1998. His debut production was a sold-out critically acclaimed Madama Butterfly. Since that time, 9 out 10 performances of Il Trovatore, Carmen, The Flying Dutchman, and The Pirates of Penzance have been capacity successes. He has also conducted Rigoletto, Noye's Fludde, The Old Maid and the Thief and led the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in Gala concerts in 2005 and 2006. He was associate conductor for productions of La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor, L'elisir d'amore, La Cenerentola, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Le Nozze di Figaro. He has conducted the New England Symphonic Ensemble, the Westminster Community Orchestra, the University Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra and the Masterworks Orchestra in repertoire ranging from Baroque oratorios and Brahms symphonies to 20th century classics of Orff, Finzi and Holst. He has prepared choruses for such eminent conductors as Joseph Flummerfelt, Vance George, Uwe Gronostay, Donald Nally, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Steven White.

An acclaimed tenor, Williamson was a winner of the Center for Contemporary Opera's competition and was featured in a solo recital at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. He has appeared with Tulsa Opera, Sarasota Opera, Lake George Opera, Bronx Opera, Opera Roanoke, and in Britain with the New Kent Opera Festival, the Snape Proms, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. In concert, he has sung with the Washington Bach Consort, Folger Consort, Hartford Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Saint Thomas Church (NY), The National Chorale, and the Orchestra of the 17th century. 2009 marked his fifth appearance at the acclaimed Bard Music Festival. His performances with the American Symphony Orchestra of Dallapiccola's Volo di Notte and Mendelssohn's Paulus are available on iTunes. Stage credits include the title role in Gounod's Faust, Alfredo in La Traviata, Iro in Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria, Agenore in Mozart's Il Re Pastore, Armand in Massenet's Thérèse, Handel's Acis and Damon and the Magician in Menotti's The Consul. Concert appearances have included Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, all three Bach Evangelists, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Mozart's Requiem, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Saint Nicolas, and the War Requiem. His performances have been praised by the New York Times, the Times of London, Opera News, the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. As a professional ensemble singer, he has appeared with New York's premiere choruses under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Levine, Maazel, Masur, Salonen, Hickox, Rilling, Botstein and Sawallisch.


An academic since 1996, he has served as Director of choral and vocal activities at Shepherd University and Associate Director of choral and vocal activities at Washington and Lee University, where he frequently returns as a visiting artist and professor. Williamson has sung and conducted premieres of works by Robert Convery, Adolphus Hailstork, Lee Hoiby, Morten Lauridsen, Mark McCoy, Kirke Mechem, Arvo Pärt, Amy Scurria, Kile Smith and Terry Vosbein. He holds degrees from James Madison University and Westminster Choir College, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland. He has studied in Germany at the Franz Liszt Hochschule in Weimar, the International Young Artists Festival in Bayreuth, and the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. An award-winning poet, his latest work will be featured in the Fall 2013 edition of the Atlanta Review.