Minnesota Opera Orchestra

The Minnesota Opera Orchestra is an internationally recognized ensemble of 46 core musicians which regularly expands with extra players and has served the Minnesota Opera for 60 years. The orchestra primarily performs at the Ordway as part of Minnesota Opera, as well as at venues across the Twin Cities such as The Luminary Arts Center, Allianz Field, The O’Shaughnessy Theater, and CHS Field. The musicians of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra are members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 30-73 and the orchestra normally plays under a 4-year union contract.

The MN Opera Orchestra functions as a highly collaborative ensemble working closely with artistic teams in the creation of new works. The orchestra workshopped and performed the world premiere of Silent Night by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell (commissioned by Minnesota Opera) which went on to receive the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The orchestra is featured on the commercial recording of Silent Night (2021) and on two PBS Great Performance specials, Silent Night (2011) and Doubt (2019), and is regularly heard in broadcasts of the Minnesota Opera on Minnesota Public Radio. Other world premieres include: The Shining by Paul Moravec, The Manchurian Candidate by Kevin Puts, and the regional premiere of Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie. The orchestra most recently collaborated with composer Paola Prestini and librettist Mark Campbell, workshopping their opera Edward Tulane, based on Minnesota writer Kate DiCamillo’s story, and performing and recording the opera’s world premiere at the Ordway in October 2022.

“Minnesota Opera Orchestra brings out all of the whimsical sweetness of Rossini’s score, acting as the musical engine that keeps this comedy skipping gleefully forward and making sure that the focus upon fun is unwavering.” – Pioneer Press

“… The Minnesota Opera Orchestra … is excellent throughout, especially during the opera’s bittersweet conclusion: a soft, sad fading from earshot that needs no words to draw tears…” – Pioneer Press

Violin I
Allison Ostrander, concertmaster
Julia Persitz
David Mickens
Angela Waterman Hanson
Heidi Amundson
Conor O’Brien

Violin 2
Laurie Petruconis, principal
Elise Parker, assistant principal
Elizabeth Decker
Emilia Mettenbrink

Emily Hagen
Laurel Browne
Jenny Lind Nilsson
Susan Janda

Teresa Richardson, assistant principal
Sally Dorer
Rebecca Arons

John Michael Smith, principal

Hannah Peterson, principal 

Michael Dayton, principal
Jeffrey Marshak

Karrin Meffert-Nelson, principal
Nina Olsen

Jessica Findley Yang, principal
Laurie Hatcher Merz

Mike Alexander, principal
Charles Hodgson
Timothy Bradley

John G. Koopmann, principal
Christopher Volpe

Phillip Ostrander, principal
John Tranter
David Stevens

Kory Andry, principal

Matthew Barber, principal

Min Kim, principal

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