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Tim O’Leary
General Director
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
thought leaders

Tim O’Leary

Timothy O’Leary has been General Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis since 2008, earning acclaim for innovative programming and growth in new audiences. O’Leary currently serves as Chairman of the Board of OPERA America. He is also on the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Diversity Awareness Partnership, and the Steering Committee for Arts & Faith St. Louis.

His tenure at OTSL has brought new records for fundraising, with OTSL’s endowment nearly doubling to exceed $32 million, and annual contributions increasing by more than 35%, to exceed $5.5 million per year. During O’Leary’s tenure, Opera Theatre launched its critically acclaimed New Works, Bold Voices series, a cycle of world premiere American operas that embrace diverse influences and tell stories of the modern era. The series has included Champion by Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer, “27” by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek, and Shalimar the Clown by Jack Perla and Rajiv Joseph based on the novel by Salman Rushdie.

In 2016, O’Leary received the St. Louis Business Journal “Innovation Award” for this work, and Opera Theatre won a major grant from The Wallace Foundation’s Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative – one of only four U.S. opera companies to do so. Further recognition includes the Norman A. Stack Community Relations Award from the St. Louis Jewish Community Relations Council, a “St. Louis Superhero” award from Metro Theatre Company, and the St. Louis Arts and Education Council’s Award for Excellence. O’Leary’s training included an apprenticeship with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, graduate studies in Theatre Management at Columbia University, and a degree in English from Dartmouth College. His professional experience has included engagements with New York City Opera, the Gotham Chamber Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and The Roundabout Theatre Company.