Clinton Smith


Now in his fifth season as music director of Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, Clinton Smith also maintains a position on the music staff of Santa Fe Opera, where he most recently served as cover conductor for Die Fledermaus and Handel’s Alcina. During the 2017–2018 season, he will make four company debuts, conducting Il barbieri de Siviglia at Dayton Opera, Le nozze di Figaro at Tacoma Opera, Alcina at Fargo-Moorhead Opera and Noah’s Flood with Opera Las Vegas. He will also return to Pacific Northwest Opera to conduct Turandot, and to Atlanta Opera to prepare The Seven Deadly Sins.

Clinton’s recent conducting credits include The Mikado for Kentucky Opera, Hansel und Gretel and Norma for Pacfic Northwest Opera, Il barbieri di Siviglia for the University of Michigan Opera Theater, and La finta giardiniera for Baldwin Wallace University. He has served on the music staff of Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atltanta Opera, Portland Opera, Kentucky Opera and Ash Lawn Opera. Other recent posts include four seasons as artistic director and principal conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony, assistant conductor and chorus master for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, assistant conductor for Glimmerglass Opera’s productions of Tolomeo and The Tender Land, conductor of Madama Butterfly at Hamline University and Mademoiselle Modiste for Skylark Opera, music director of Western Ontario University’s Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, and guest coach at the National University of Taiwan.

For four seasons, Minnesota Opera engaged Clinton as cover conductor and chorus master, where he led mainstage performances of La traviata and Madama Butterfly and covered the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Opera Orchestra in over 20 productions. During 2011, Clinton conducted a workshop and prepared the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ opera Silent Night, which subsequently won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. For Minnesota Opera’s New Works Initiative, and as an avid fan of new music, Clinton prepared workshops of Douglas J. Cuomo’s Doubt, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis and the North American premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, as well as Dominick Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming and Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights.

Previous positions include music director and conductor of the Franco-American Vocal Academy in France (La Périchole, La vie parisienne, La belle Hélène), the Austrian-American Mozart Academy in Salzburg (Le nozze di Figaro, Der Schauspieldirektor, Bastien und Bastienne, Die Zauberflöte) and the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra. Clinton has also served as assistant conductor for the Austin Symphony, International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy, the University of Michigan Opera Theater’s productions of La bohéme and The Bartered Bride, and the University of Michigan Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestras, for which he covered the world premiere of Evan Chambers’ The Old Burying Ground at Carnegie Hall.

KING-FM Interviews Clinton

Listen to Clinton Smith discuss the 2013–2014 season and his new role as OSSCS music director with KING-FM’s Marta Zekan: