- Kelley Rourke
(b Pittsburgh, PA, Dec 26, 1928). American baritone and impresario. He studied voice at the Curtis Institute of Music and moved to Europe in 1958, performing with opera companies in Switzerland and Germany. He returned to the United States in 1964 and held administrative positions at San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, and Affiliate Artists before taking the helm of The Dallas Opera in 1977. He felt strongly about a general director’s role as “curator of the art form” and brought an expanded artistic vision to a company once known as “La Scala West.” While maintaining The Dallas Opera’s commitment to standard opera repertory, he commissioned Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers and Tobias Picker’s Thérèse Raquin. He also programmed, for the first time in the company’s history, works by Igor Stravinsky, George Gershwin, Virgil Thomson, Benjamin Britten, Manuel de Falla, Samuel Barber, and Leoš Janáček, as well as Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Under his leadership The Dallas Opera more than doubled its number of performances and became a leader in community programming with nationally recognized initiatives in education and adult minority partnerships. Karayanis served as president and chairman of OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, from ...