Joseph Walsh conducted Virginia Opera’s highly successful premiere production of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah last season and will take the podium again this season for The Pirates of Penzance. He has conducted productions at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, including Mozart’s The Magic Flute, in honor of the anniversary of the composer’s 250th birthday, and Puccini’s greatest comic opera Gianni Schicchi. Additionally, Mr. Walsh has conducted Virginia Opera performances of The Tales of Hoffmann, Eugene Onegin, Lucia, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, The Merry Widow, and The Magic Flute in prior seasons. He has been involved in musical preparation for more than forty Virginia Opera productions since joining the company in 1995, including most recently, Carmen, Agrippina, La Traviata, Romeo and Juliet, Norma, Turandot, Tristan and Isolde and Faust. Mr. Walsh is also the company’s resident Chorus Master and was recently praised by Celia Porter of The Washington Post for his ability to produce choral singing that is “as perfect as human voices can be in tone quality, diction, blend, dramatic conviction and intonation.”
In 2005, Mr. Walsh prepared Virginia Opera’s chorus for the inaugural concert of the new Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News in a program with Michael Crawford, as well as a festive evening joining the forces of Richmond’s three major arts organizations, the Richmond Ballet, The Richmond Symphony and Virginia Opera in performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He recently served as Musical Director for a concert entitled An Evening of Moonlight and Music at The Huntington Art Collections, Museum and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California, featuring artists and selections from Virginia Opera’s 2004 production of The Merry Widow. Since 2002, Mr. Walsh has served as Virginia Opera’s Assistant Artistic Director, actively involving him in the company’s artistic planning and administration. He has been instrumental in the development of Virginia Opera’s Spectrum Resident Artist Program, an intensive professional training program for young artists and co-founded the company’s STAR program (Student Training and Artistic Residency), which offers an internship in opera to gifted vocal students from The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Walsh has been involved in the commissioning of several productions for the company’s Education and Community Outreach Program, including Seymour Barab’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin and Cinderella, as well as John David Ernest’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which has been revived in the company’s touring program this season. Mr. Walsh has judged the Middle Eastern District of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions in Washington, D.C. and has served on the coaching faculties of the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.