McAdams Comes Home to Conduct at Opera Theatre

By Miller, Sarah Bryan | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

McAdams Comes Home to Conduct at Opera Theatre


Miller, Sarah Bryan, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Opera Theatre of St. Louis had to correct conductor Ryan McAdams' status in its cast and crew listings: "Pirates of Penzance" is not his debut with the company.

That was in 1996, when he was 14. Then a student at Wydown Middle School, he performed the role of Long Arrow in the children's opera "A Thunder of Horses." "My voice broke in the middle of the production," he recalls.

Even that wasn't his introduction to the company. His mother, voice teacher Carol Bell, "sang in the ensemble when I was negative 2 to positive 6 or 8 years old." As a child, he watched rehearsals from the wings.

Now 31, he's come a long way, winning prizes and scholarships every step of the way. A 2000 graduate of Clayton High School, he earned his undergraduate degree in piano performance at Indiana University, and a master's in conducting at the Juilliard School. He spent his summers at the Aspen Festival, and received a Fulbright grant in 2006 to study in Stockholm with Alan Gilbert, now music director of the New York Philharmonic.

Music director of the New York Youth Symphony from 2006 to 2012, he had considerable conducting overseas, working at the Maggio Musicale in Florence and elsewhere.

"I've gotten one opportunity after another that I was very lucky to receive," he says, including working at New York City Opera, New York City Ballet and as a cover conductor at the New York Philharmonic. …

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