Opera Music Theater International
OMTI General Director & President
former National Endowment for the Arts' Opera Music Theater Fellow, Mr.
McCully worked with OPERA NEWS editor Patrick Smith in designing
New American Works Surveys for the National Council on the Arts, and in
developing dynamic peer panels with Andre Bishop, William Bolcom, Gene
Boucher, Christine Bullin, Phyllis Curtin, Speight Jenkins, Ardis
Krainik, Jack O' Brien, Alton Peters, Sarah Richards, Willie Anthony
Waters, and Hugo Weisgall.
For over a decade, he has served as a National Endowment for the Arts
On-Site Evaluator of Professional Opera and Music Theater Companies and
their Young Artists Training Programs for Opera Orchestra of New York,
Virginia Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Carolina, Knoxville Opera, Lyric
Opera of Kansas City, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, DiCapo Opera Theatre,
and San Francisco Mime Troupe.
A highly sought after opera adjudicator, Mr. McCully has judged numerous
vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council
Auditions with the Paris Opera's artistic director Bernard Lefort,
discovering now Metropolitan Opera soprano Jan Grissom; as well as, the
National Opera Association's Vocal Competition with Metropolitan Opera
tenor George Shirley, discovering now San Francisco Opera soprano Dana
Mr. McCully served as general director of the Marjorie Lawrence
International Vocal Competition, with Dame Joan Sutherland and Maestro
Richard Bonynge as International Honorary Chairs, at the National Museum
of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, featuring Metropolitan Opera
adjudicators Dominic Cossa, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Ryan Edwards, Evelyn Lear
and Thomas Stewart, which discovered and launched the careers of
Cristina Nassif, Chen Reiss, Michelle Gutrick, Anna Tonna, Lorraine
Hinds and Charles Reid with generous financial contributions. In
addition, the major discovery of Wagnerian soprano, now Lyric Opera of
Chicago soprano Jennifer Wilson, at the Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart
Master Class, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington
D.C., which was documented by The New York Times.
Mr. McCully served as chairman of the 43rd National Opera Association
Convention in Washington DC, sponsored by Musical America, and
featuring Placido Domingo, Shirley Verrett, Thomas Stewart, Evelyn Lear,
William Warfield and Marni Nixon. He honored Banff Centre for their
outstanding commitment to producing North American and World Premieres
of New American Works at the Embassy of Canada; and presented "Lifetime
Achievement Awards" to American Opera Composers Carlisle Floyd, Thea
Musgrave, Robert Ward, Jack Beeson, Kirke Mechem and Seymour Barab.
Mr. McCully was the recipient of an "Arts & Humanities Award"
grant in Music Criticism to work with The Washington Post music
critic emeritus Dr. Paul Hume. As a music director, his work in a number
of Washington DC League of Theatres includes LEND ME A TENOR, GIGI,
KISMET, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, SOME LIKE IT HOT, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, as
well as, DAMN YANKEES which received a Washington Theatre Awards
Society's "Helen Hayes Awards" nomination for Outstanding
At the White House, Mr. McCully was invited to conduct the Opera Music
Theater Ensemble's Emerging Artists and the Sinfonian Chorus for
President William Jefferson Clinton at the State Governors Reception. In
honor of the White House Bicentennial, Mr. McCully conducted his New
American Work "For All These Years" from AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT.
At the National Theatre, Mr. McCully's work was showcased at "The
Theatre of the Presidents" with the Opera Music Theater Ensemble's
Emerging Artists as part of its "Monday Night Series." The
National Theatre's president Dr. Donn B. Murphy writes:
"The caliber of singers you brought to our stage was breathtaking. Any
one of them alone could have held an audience spellbound; the ensemble
was dazzling indeed."
A former Heinz Foundation "Arts & Humanities Award" nominator for
the prestigious "$250,000 Heinz Awards" that recognized Beverly
Sills and Jon Harbison for their artistic excellence, Mr. McCully was
also honored as a nominee of the "2000 Governor's Arts Awards"
that "applauds his excellence in, encouragement and support of; and
investment in the Arts in the Commonwealth of Virginia." The City of
Alexandria honored James K. McCully at Schlesinger Concert Hall "for
his exceptional contributions to enhancing the quality of artistic
opportunities" as an "2005 Alex Award" nominee.
At the "1st International Congress of Performing Arts Administrators"
in London, Mr. McCully received an "Award of Excellence: for the
Design of Complete Marketing Packages" from the International
Society of Performing Arts Administrators, and was invited to speak on
their panel on "Marketing the Arts to Future Generations" at the
United Nations in New York City.
As an educator, Mr. McCully has served on the voice faculties of the
National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts and the Catholic University of
America. His students are performing with Arena Stage, Baltimore Opera,
Ford's Theatre, Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, Signature Theatre,
Virginia Opera, Washington Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and on tour in major
houses in Europe, North America, South America and Australia.
As a lecturer, Mr. McCully has been a guest speaker with the
International Institute of Education panel "The Role of Arts
Management in the United States"; the United States Information
Agency panel on "Funding the Arts, The Recipient's Point of View";
and the International Television Association panel on "Producing
International Co-Productions" .
Mr. McCully received his introduction into grand opera under the
guidance and inspiration of world famous Metropolitan Opera soprano
Marjorie Lawrence. In addition, he studied vocal pedagogy with Dr.
Thomas LoMonaco; coach/accompanying with Dr. Michael Cordovana; and with
New England Conservatory of Music's Dr. John Moriarty as the production
coordinator for the Central City Opera's RIGOLETTO, LA CENERENTOLA,
THE STUDENT PRINCE, as well as, the AGMA Apprentice and Studio
Artists Training Programs.
In New York City, Mr. McCully successfully completed American Symphony
Orchestra League's "General Managers Training Program" at Avery
Fisher Hall, and performed a professional internship with Maryland
Public Television's dynamic general manager Raymond K.K. Ho.
Mr. McCully was educated at American University where he attended the
graduate degree program in Arts Administration; and holds
undergraduate degrees in Music, as well as, Radio, Television
and Film degrees from the University of Arkansas.
Mr. McCully served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Source
Theatre Company; and as a past president of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music
Fraternity of America's Alumni Association in Washington DC.
He is listed in several national and international publications
including the Who's Who in American Music: Classical in
New York City, and the International Who's Who in Music
from Cambridge, England.
Mr. McCully maintains a private studio in the greater metropolitan
Washington DC area where he coaches, and prepares Emerging Artists
for professional careers, showcasing them in concert in recognized
concert halls, with nationally/internationally renowned established
Email Mr. McCully to schedule an
audition for the Emerging Artists program, or to be considered
for admission into his private studio in the greater metropolitan
Washington DC area.
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