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News Feature

Stonington
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, May 10, 2018
Familiar face heads up OHA

Peter Richards

The summer season at the Stonington Opera House has an ambitious schedule, and new interim artistic director Peter Richards will be at the forefront as the new head of the institution.

Photo courtesy of Opera House Arts

by Monique Labbe

The summer season at the Stonington Opera House has an ambitious schedule, and new interim artistic director Peter Richards will be at the forefront as the new head of the institution.

Richards was named interim artistic director three weeks ago, and has been busy getting the Opera House ready for the summer season.

“I’m learning a lot, and I still have a lot to learn,” said Richards.

While he is new to the position, he is well versed in the way the Opera House runs. Richards has been on the Opera House Arts board of directors for four years, and has directed and been a part of several productions during past seasons.

He has also been a summer visitor and resident of the Stonington community for the past 40 years.

“I’m familiar with the institution and the community,” he said. “I feel very privileged to be in this position, even if it is for such a short amount of time.”

The 2018 summer season at the Opera House will feature everything from concerts to films to theater productions, including The Tempest, which will take place outdoors at Ames Farm in Stonington. The play is directed by Richards and is scheduled to run from June 29-July 15. That production will kick off a slate of almost 20 events scheduled for the summer season.

As Richards gets ready to take on what he said will be a “whirlwind” of a season, he said the board is busy launching a nationwide search to fill the artistic director position in a permanent capacity.

“The Opera House is a unique institution,” said Richards. “We have a real diversity in programming. We have films, concerts, plays, courses. So whoever fills this role should have a strong artistic background.”

The board is hoping to get someone into the role “fairly quickly,” said Richards, and would like to have somebody as the official director by the fall.

For now, though, the Opera House is under the direction of Richards, who is looking forward to the next few months.

“[Former artistic director] Meg Taintor lined up some really awesome things for this summer,” said Richards. “It should be very exciting. We have something for everyone.”