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Artistic & General Director, Opera Baltimore

Julia Cooke was named Artistic and General Director of Opera Baltimore (formerly Baltimore Concert Opera) in 2019, having originally served as a founding board member and then as Executive Director. In her current role, Julia leads artistic programming and casting, fundraising, long-term and strategic planning and business management.

Under her leadership, the company has grown thoughtfully and consistently since its inception in 2009, garnering both critical acclaim and strong community support. Opera Baltimore's long track record of routinely sold-out performances paired with its deep and genuine dedication to its community led to a major expansion in 2022, when the company added fully staged opera productions to its already successful concert programming. Guiding the company from its grassroots beginnings, Julia has led the creation and launch of OB’s successful programming both on and beyond the traditional opera stage, innovating in the areas of new audience development, civic practice work, and vibrant education programs for all ages.

Before her career as an arts executive, Julia maintained an active dual career in performing and teaching. Her professional singing career took her throughout the U.S. and overseas in leading operatic roles and as a concert soloist. As a passionate educator, she spent 25 years teaching in many capacities, including as a professor of classical voice at Morgan State University, Towson University, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, conductor for the Chicago Children’s Choir and Maryland State Boychoir, and private voice teacher to dozens of rising singers. She is also a sought-after guest judge at voice competitions, as well as a guest lecturer and master class facilitator.

Julia holds a Master of Music degree in opera performance from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and psychology from the University of Rochester.


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The Denyce Graves Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 

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