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Atlanta Opera Chorus Master Walter Huff Accepts Full-time Position at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Huff continues with The Atlanta Opera celebrating 25 years during 2013-2014 season

ATLANTA, June 19, 2013 – The Atlanta Opera, one of the nation’s finest regional opera companies enriching lives through the power of opera, today announced that its Chorus Master, Walter Huff, has been appointed the full-time position of associate professor of choral conducting at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music beginning in August. Huff joined the Jacobs School of Music as an adjunct associate professor in 2012.

Huff will maintain his position as chorus master at The Atlanta Opera, and celebrates his 25th anniversary with the Opera during the 2013-2014 season. Under his leadership, The Atlanta Opera Chorus sang 21 critically acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess at Opéra-Comique in Paris and on tour in Granada, Normandy, and Luxembourg. Huff, who was acknowledged for his world-class work and dedication at The Atlanta Opera Ball in 2012, has been instrumental in building The Atlanta Opera Chorus into one of the most highly regarded opera choruses in the world. The Opera will honor Huff’s 25 years during its upcoming March 2014 production of Faust, which has not been seen in Atlanta for almost 20 years.

“I have been so impressed with Walter Huff and his work with The Atlanta Opera Chorus each time I have directed for The Atlanta Opera,” said Tomer Zvulun, who took the helm as general and artistic director of The Atlanta Opera on June 1. “Walter is masterful at his craft. I am incredibly proud of him and thrilled for this new opportunity for Walter to share his talent and knowledge with the future leading musicians of the world. I have a long-standing relationship with the Jacobs School of Music, one of the greatest music schools in the country, and I am so happy that Maestro Huff, along with our music director Arthur Fagen, are deeply involved with this vital educational institution. I am happy he will be continuing his relationships with The Atlanta Opera, and look forward to collaborating with him for years to come.”

As associate professor of choral conducting, Huff will be responsible for leading seminars on literature and choral preparation skills, conducting classes for master’s and doctoral choral conducting majors, directing opera choruses for Indiana University Opera Theater’s six annual productions, and mentoring select student assistant chorus masters in preparing ensembles for Indiana University opera productions.

"I am looking forward to establishing a full-time relationship this year with the Jacobs School of Music students and staff,” commented Huff. “As an adjunct professor last year, I enjoyed working with the choristers in opera productions ranging from Handel to Philip Glass. Plus, the mentoring of the student assistant chorus masters has begun to be an important gesture toward the understanding of this choral art form. I am honored to join the rest of the Indiana University choral faculty at this time, and am grateful to be continuing my involvement with The Atlanta Opera."

|About The Atlanta Opera
Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation, and is under the leadership of general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun. By producing live, mainstage performances of the highest quality and impactful community engagement experiences, The Atlanta Opera enriches lives through the power of opera. The Opera strives to attract the finest international, national, and regional singers, conductors, stage directors, and designers. Each season, The Atlanta Opera presents three productions at the Cobb Energy Centre, drawing audiences from the entire metropolitan Atlanta area as well as from the Southeast region.

About The Atlanta Opera Chorus
Known for its skilled, well-coached singers, The Atlanta Opera Chorus is a training program for Atlanta-area singers, and serious vocal students at Georgia-area colleges and universities. Atlanta Opera Chorus members are highly touted for their technical training and acting skills, and have been showcased in traditional operatic productions, as well as contemporary and more off-beat operas, such as Philip Glass’s Akhnaten; Wagner’s dark and stormy The Flying Dutchman; Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice; a critically praised showcase of Carmina burana and Pagliacci, and a modern staging of Carmen in 1992.

In 1996, The Atlanta Opera Chorus performed Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the Centennial Olympic Games. In 2008, The Atlanta Opera Chorus, under principal chorus master Walter Huff’s direction, sang 21 critically acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess at Opéra-Comique in Paris and on tour in Granada, Normandy, and Luxembourg.

Esteemed alumni of The Atlanta Opera Chorus are now performing at the Metropolitan Opera and other opera stages around the world. Notable alumni include bass Richard Bernstein, baritone Scott Hogsed, bass Jason Hardy, tenor Richard Clement, and the late tenor Ryan Smith, among others.

Members of The Atlanta Opera Chorus were featured on P.D.Q. Bach’s Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities, which won a Grammy® Award for best comedy recording in 1990. The Chorus also can be heard on a recording of Mozart’s Requiem, recorded at St. Philips Cathedral in Atlanta in 1997.

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