KNOXVILLE, TN - August 9, 2021: Knoxville Opera’s Esther Blevins has been selected by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, to participate in its highly prestigious 2021 Leadership Intensive program. Industry leaders are selected through a competitive process focusing on candidates’ potential to make significant contributions to the opera field.

“The Leadership Intensive has proven to be a catalyst for the development of a new generation of opera leaders who would not otherwise have access to such specialized learning opportunities or to an international network of peers,” stated Marc. A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Alumni from the program now hold 10 percent of executive leadership positions at member companies across the United States.”

“Esther is going to make a great, impactful and compassionate leader. And we need that in this industry. It’s clear that she leads with her heart and puts the mission of Knoxville Opera at the center of all she does. And that is what true leadership looks like,” stated Afton Battle, general director of Fort Worth Opera.

Esther Blevins has proven herself a tireless pursuer of positive change, equity, and inclusion. Her talent and work ethic have catapulted her through multiple promotions at Knoxville Opera. She handles various responsibilities, including marketing communications, grant management, and is also the team champion for our company’s participation in the OF/BY/FOR ALL Change Network, which is part of the company’s commitment to actively operationalize diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization’s programs and policies.

Esther Blevins is a first-generation American born to Cuban immigrant parents and has a Masters Degree in Arts Administration from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Knoxville Opera’s mission is to provide the residents of East Tennessee with high-quality, locally produced opera and to contribute to the future of the operatic art form by educating the community about opera and its role in our culture. Knoxville Opera, founded in 1978, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose programs are made possible, in part, by major funding from Tennessee Arts Commission, Aslan Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Pilot Flying J, Knox County, Regal Cinemas, The Sood Family, Nancy & Charlie Wagner, Steve & Ann Bailey, City of Knoxville, Knox County, KaTom Restaurant Supply, Knoxville Pediatric Association, Home Federal Bank, FirstBank, and East Tennessee Foundation.