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Virginia Opera Staff


Russell P. Allen, President & CEO

Adam Turner, Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor

Peter Mark, Artistic Director Emeritus

Staff Listing


Russell P. Allen

President and CEO

Russell P. AllenRussell P. Allen began his second tour-of-duty with Virginia Opera in September, 2011. He had been General Manager from 1994-2000. Allen previously served as Executive Director of The Washington Ballet and Orlando Ballet where he worked in both positions building stronger administrative operations, generating increased earned and contributed revenue, strategically growing the institutions, and furthering each organization's mission and visibility in their respective communities. During his successful tenure in ballet management, Allen partnered with artistic directors Bruce Marks, Fernando Bujones, and Septime Webre.

Prior to his seven years in ballet, Allen served as General Manager for The Atlanta Opera, following his six years at Virginia Opera. His work with Virginia Opera in the 90s saw the organization through both its 20th and 25th gala seasons, and through six years of growth in both audience size and contributed revenue. Now looking ahead to its 40th Season in 2014-15, Allen will plan with Virginia Opera's Board of Directors the direction of the next phase of growth and development for Virginia Opera.

Throughout his tenure serving major arts institutions, Allen has served as an independent arts consultant in both fundraising and administrative development including his most recent assignments with Young Audiences of Virginia in Hampton Roads and Dance Metro DC in Washington, DC. He also has had significant involvement with the OPERA America Field Services Program and the National Endowment for the Arts On-Site Review Program. Mr. Allen also worked for sixteen years in symphony management; eight years of which was as Vice President and General Manager of The Phoenix Symphony.

As a leader in the cultural arena, Allen has been active on grant review panels for state arts commissions in Texas, Arizona, and Maryland, and for the past three years with the Virginia Commission For the Arts. He also has served on both the opera and dance panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Allen has been a member of the Valley Leadership Institute in Phoenix, the Civic Leadership Program in Hampton Roads, and served on a legislative sub-committee of the Virginia General Assembly on the state's arts funding initiatives. He also served for four years as Chair of the Executive Directors Council of the Hampton Roads Cultural Alliance.

In his spare time, Allen has since 2006 served as President of his Homeowners Association in Florida and served on his college's Alumni Board from 2003-2009. Allen was a double major in English and Music at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Adam Turner

Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor

Adam TurnerThe 2014-15 season marks Adam Turner’s inaugural season as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of Virginia Opera, following three seasons as Resident Conductor leading productions of Carmen, Ariadne auf Naxos, Carousel, Camelot, and The Mikado. Upcoming conducting engagements include Sweeney Todd and HMS Pinafore with Virginia Opera, debut appearances with Hawaii Opera Theatre and Eugene Opera leading productions of Sweeney Todd, and a return to Central City Opera as Conductor of Man of La Mancha and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind. During the summer of 2013, Mr. Turner joined Seattle Opera as Assistant Conductor and Vocal Coach on Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. He has previously served as Conductor and Coach with Stadttheater Pforzheim in Germany, Assistant Conductor with Florida Grand Opera, Portland Opera, Syracuse Opera, and Hot Springs Music Festival, Resident Conductor and Chorus Master of the Ash Lawn Opera Festival, and Associate Conductor and Chorus Master with Central City Opera, where he has led performances of The Marriage of Figaro, Dead Man Walking, Carmen, La bohème, and Oklahoma! Mr. Turner recently appeared in concert with singer-songwriter Ben Folds, conducting members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.


Staff Listing

Contact a Virginia Opera staff member by dialing the main office number first, followed by one of the extensions listed on this page.

Dial the main office number first, followed by the appropriate extension.

Norfolk: 757.627.9545
Richmond: 804.644.8168
Toll-Free: 1.866.673.7282

You may also reach us by emailing


Virginia Opera (Norfolk) 757.627.9545
Russell P. Allen, President & CEO x3335
Adam Turner, Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor
Alexandra Stacey, Artistic Coordinator
Alexandria Burns, Accounts Payable x3310 
Amanda Jo Ely, Group Sales & Audience Services Manager x3322
Brooke Filo, Graphic Designer & Media Manager x3348
Cody Symanietz, Production Stage Manager x3340 
Darlene Shelton, Executive Assistant to CEO x3335
Dave Smith, Production & Technical Director x3344
Dr. Glenn Winters, Community Outreach Musical Director x3304
Edward Saindon, Associate Technical Director TBD
Howard Bender, Vice President of Central/Northern Virginia Operations x3398
James McGough, Wig & Makeup Manager x3314
Joan Llaneza, Assistant Stage Manager x3330 
Jojo Chittum, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant x3300
Kandis Burnworth, Annual Fund Manager x3318 
Kearston Dillard-Scott, Lighting Supervisor x3374
Kelsey Burston, Assistant Stage Manager x3329
Lana Sadowski, Marketing Sales and Promotions Manager x3323
Lisa Sands, Hampton Roads Director of Development x3319
Lisa Stewart, House Manager TBD
Maggi George, Director of Marketing x3316
Pat Seyller, Costume Shop Manager x3312
Robert Cinnante, Director of Education & Outreach x3392
Roberta Brennan, Properties Master/Operations Coordinator x3309
Robert Veland, Director of Finance & Human Resources x3311
Shelby Rhoades, Principal Coach & Director of Emerging Artists x3320
Susan Porter, Senior Development Writer x3372
Todd LaBelle, Education Program Assistant x3347
Vanya Foote, Company Manager x3332
Virginia Opera (Richmond) 804.644.8168  
Russell P. Allen, President & CEO x3336
Howard Bender, Vice President of Central/Northern Virginia Operations x3398
Robert Cinnante, Director of Education & Outreach x3392