Kristin Roach is a Grammy-nominated pianist and international conductor with 37 new operas and 21 world premieres under her baton.
A champion of contemporary opera, Ms. Roach has conducted or assisted Henry Mollicone’s Ladybird: First Lady of the Land and Children of the Sun, Michael Ching’s Speed Dating Tonight!, Joseph Julian Gonzales’ Fundaciones de Bexar, James Ballentine’s Navarro, Leo Chadburn’s Gold Space City of God, and Myron Fink’s Conquistador.
Upcoming conducting engagements include Prima la musica, poi la parola for VAO-Bodrum, Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears for Spotlight on Opera, and Le nozze di Figaro and Carmen for Texas Concert Opera Collective.
Her high level of artistry, comprehensive knowledge of operatic repertoire and performance practices, and strong communication, management, motivational, and organizational skills place her in demand as a conductor, pianist, and vocal coach across the nation. She serves as Assistant Professor of Opera at Lawrence University, and conductor at Vocal Academy of Orvieto, and maintains a busy private practice as vocal coach and award-winning pianist with extensive collaboration.
As Founding Music Director of Alamo City Opera, where she served from 2012 to its closure in 2019, Ms. Roach conducted seventeen productions of operas, including many South Texas premieres. A San Antonio native, she partnered with founder and General Director, the late Mark Richter, to help ACO establish an atmosphere of intimate opera. With diverse and often ground-breaking programming including fresh, energetic takes on Dido and Aeneas, Acis and Galatea, Cenerentola and the Star Trek version of Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, Trouble in Tahiti, The Medium, and Laura Kaminsky’s As One, Alamo City’s productions drew hundreds, boasting an average audience age under 35, many of whom were first-time opera-goers.
In recognition of the area’s wealth of Spanish speaking residents, Alamo City also presented San Antonio’s first full-length opera in Spanish, La hija de Rappaccini by Mexican composer Daniel Catan; followed by rave reviews for Piazzolla’s “operita” Maria de Buenos Aires. ACO also developed signature collaborations which featured Ms. Roach at the piano, including Opera vs Broadway I, II, and III (featuring a wealth of local opera and musical theater talent), Opera in the Park (a free concert series in beautiful Travis Park), and songs by Dvorak and Brahms in collaboration with Alamo Arts Ballet Theater.
Additional conducting credits include Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw, A Little Night Music, La Boheme, The Pirates of Penzance, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Don Pasquale, The Medium, Bastien und Bastienne/La Curandera, The Italian Lesson, Gianni Schicchi, Buoso’s Ghost, Bon Appetit, Gallantry, Prince Orlovsky’s Ball, Liszt’s Christus, and The Consul.
Ms. Roach has prepared productions for the San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Utah Opera, San Antonio Opera, San Antonio Symphony, Brevard Music Institute, Aspen Music Festival, Breckenridge Music Institute, Taos Opera Institute, Opera Theatre of Rochester, Eastman Opera Theater, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Spotlight on Opera, and Texas Concert Opera Collective.
Acclaimed for her “revelatory” and “infectious high spirits” at the keyboard, Ms. Roach has appeared as a soloist with with the San Antonio Symphony, Mid-Texas Symphony, San Antonio Wind Symphony, and Eastman Philharmonia; and as chamber musician with Camerata San Antonio, Chamber Music Amarillo, Olmos Ensemble, Musical Offerings, and Cactus Pear Music Festival. She has toured Europe with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, performing on the historic organs of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Church of the Madeleine, Ely Cathedral, Bristol Cathedral and York University.
Her recordings include the Trinity Jazz Project, a self-produced collection of her original arrangements of hymn tunes, and classical works with the New World Symphony for Decca Records and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble for Sony Classical Records. Her newest recording, released in April 2018, features her collaboration with violinist Daniel Kobialka. Her recording of chamber works by Miguel del Aguila with Camerata San Antonio, Salon Buenos Aires, was nominated for two Latin Grammy® awards.
Ms. Roach is in demand as a vocal coach whose studio includes numerous opera singers with both professional companies and apprentice programs, university faculty and students, chamber music groups, and church musicians. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in Applied Music (Piano), the Performer’s Certificate in Piano, and a Master of Music in Piano Performance/Literature and Piano Accompanying/ Chamber Music. Ms. Roach currently resides in Appleton, WI with her ridiculously laconic Staffordshire Terrier, Princess Leia.