DAVID BLACKBURN, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
David Blackburn founded and manages NYIOP, which scouts singers and organizes professional opera auditions around the world. Since its creation in 2002, the NYIOP Auditions have brought over 150 opera houses to hear singers in New York City, San Francisco, Beijing, Berlin, Bologna, Napoli and Vienna, as well as many other cities internationally. Mr. Blackburn also acts as a consultant to a number of major opera houses and agencies worldwide on casting and collaborations at every level. In the past, he has served in the role of Director of Artistic Administration for the Palm Beach Opera and also as a Vice President for IMG Artists, opening their Berlin office. Since 2015, he also serves as the Chief Consultant to the Young Artist Studio at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow.
In addition to his work on the NYIOP auditions and in direct association with opera houses, he has been a consultant to the Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera, organized the United States-based auditions for the Paris Opera Studio (Atelier Lyrique), and has taught at several prestigious summer programs including V.O.I.C.Experience in Orlando, Florida with Sherrill Milnes and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel as well a founded the Academia della Lirica Italiana in Bari, Italy.
He has taken part on the jury of the National Semi-Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as several other regional and district auditions, has been invited to the Richard Tucker Foundation auditions, the recommendation committee of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and the juries of the Competizione dell’Opera at the Sächsische Staatsoper “Semperoper” Dresden, official attendee of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Gesangswettbewerb in Vienna and the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year.
He holds a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a private student of Gerard Souzay, and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. During his professional singing career he appeared with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, Portland Opera, Ft. Worth Opera and in concert in many international centers. He has also held positions at American Express, Lehmann Brothers and Credit Suisse.
OLGA AHN, PRODUCER
Russian-born Olga Ahn has joined the NYIOP team from 2014. Olga’s past experience includes an ongoing position as the General Manager of the American Masters Academy of Opera with inaugural projects in Moscow and Ekaterinburg, Russia and Manager of the Concert Department of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory from 2011-13. A trained violinist, Olga managed the David Oistrakh International Violin Competition in Moscow from 2010-2013. She received her MA in Music History and Theory from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow in 2014. Her duties for NYIOP include helping expand our existing projects into Russia and helping to develop new and innovative ideas for the future throughout the world.
DILLON MCCARTNEY, DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL EVENTS
In his twelve years with NYIOP, Mr. McCartney has directly reported to David Blackburn, Founder and CEO of NYIOP, facilitating almost every aspect of this dynamic and innovative company, presenting veteran as well as emerging talent to more than 150 opera houses, worldwide.
His thirty years of experience singing opera, concert and musical theater along with keen insights into the casting process from hearing thousands of NYIOP auditions, as well as numerous strategic relationships with most of New York’s operatic talent managers have also made Mr. McCartney a successful and much sought after audition coach and consultant.
He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University from which he graduated with University and College Honors.
GIANDOMENICO VACCARI, ARTISTIC CONSULTANT, TALENT SCOUT
Giandomenico Vaccari is an Italian Artistic/Theater Manager and Stage Director. After classical studies he began his theatrical career at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari in 1979 as an Assistant Director and later was promoted to Artistic Coordinator. In 1991 he transferred to the Teatro Comunale of Bologna as the Artistic Secretary. In the following years he worked in Teatro Carlo Felice of Genova and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
His first position as Artistic Director was at the Teatro Verdi of Trieste in 1998. In 2000 he was appointed the Artistic Director of Teatro Verdi of Salerno, in 2002 at Teatro San Carlo di Napoli and in 2005, he accepted his first position as Sovrintendente (General Director) at Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, the theater where he began his career.
Over the course of his career, Vaccari maintained an active role in scouting young singers. He has been invited to judge many international singing competitions, including the Francisco Vinas in Barcelona, Toti Dal Monte in Treviso and Sperimentale in Spoleto, among others.
In his long career Giandomenico Vaccari worked with conductors like Lorin Maazel, Christian Thieleman, Riccardo Chailly, Gary Bertini and Jeffrey Tate and with directors like Lluis Pasqual, Robert Carsen, Daniele Abbado, Graham Vick, Alfredo Arias and Willy Decker.
As a Stage Director, Vaccari has begun a new career by staging several opera productions around the world.
At the invitation of Maestro Lorin Maazel, Vaccari began a relationship with Maazel’s famous Castleton Festival directing new productions of La Fanciulla del West by Puccini in 2013 conducted by Lorin Maazel and Don Giovanni by Mozart in 2014 conducted by Salvatore Percacciolo.
In 2013 and 2014 he directed two productions of Nabucco and Tosca in Seoul,South Korea,conducted by Aldo Sisillo and Fabio Mastrangelo.
Last season, Vaccari will direct the Rigoletto, opening season in Teatro Pavarotti in Modena.
PAUL PLUMMER, ARTISTIC CONSULTANT, LONDON-BASED
British coach PAUL PLUMMER was educated at Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music in London. He also held Junior Fellowships at the Royal College of Music and at Tanglewood (1997), and attended many courses at the Britten-Pears Young Artists’ Programme, studying the art of piano accompaniment with Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles and many others. Engagements as art-song accompanist have included several CD recordings, broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, and recitals at the Tonhalle (Zurich), Foyer Européen (Luxembourg), Wigmore Hall (London) and many British festivals.
In 2008 he moved briefly to mainland Europe, working for the Oper Kiel as a repetiteur and then serving as Brigitte Fassbaender’s Studienleiter (Head of Music) at the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck.
Since the autumn of 2013 he has again been based in London, but works freelance all over Europe (recently including Luxembourg, Köln, Firenze, Siena and Bari). He is also Head Coach of Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, on the opera faculty of Music Academy International (this year in Trento), a regular coach and freelance pianist for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and a staff accompanist of the International Vocal Competition (’s-Hertogenbosch). He has travelled widely in his role as Artistic Consultant to NYIOP, to cities such as Beijing, Gothenburg, Wien and of course New York.