General Director for Tri-Cities Opera, Susan Shiplett Ashbaker brings with her over 30 years of experience in the performing arts. She is active in the opera and vocal world as an artistic advisor/consultant, master class presenter, lecturer, and an opera/vocal coach. Her experience on both sides of the opera industry gives her a rare and comprehensive approach to the key elements of career advancement for singers as well as a unique vantage point in the administration of opera companies, arts organizations and institutions of higher learning.
Ms. Ashbaker was affiliated with the Opera Company of Philadelphia for 16 years, the last 11 as Director of Artistic and Music Administration, leading the casting practices and reestablishing the Company as a pioneer in identifying and offering opportunities to young singers before they achieved national or international recognition. In addition, she has worked as assistant conductor and vocal coach with the New York City Opera, European Center for Opera and Vocal Arts (Belgium), International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv and Montreal, Theater am Goetheplatz (Bremen, Germany), the Academy of Vocal Arts, and was on the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music from 1993-2010.
Ms. Ashbaker has been Artistic Advisor and Master Vocal Coach for The CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College since it’s inception in 2005. Ms. Ashbaker is an Adjunct Professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.