The question we need to be asking is not “How do we sell Schubert”,
but “What do we do when nobody knows Schubert?”
- Timm Rolek

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Timm Rolek was the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor with Sacramento Opera, a post that he retained for twelve seasons. During his tenure, the company grew in ticket sales, revenue and audience. It became necessary for the company to restructure its 2011/12 season in light of the economic downturn. He was on the podium for their 2012 production of Rigoletto. Both the public and the press greeted those performances with enthusiasm. His audiences trust both his repertoire selections and his ability to balance and present casts that offer the best of what is available in up-and-coming artists. His philosophy is that the opera/work is the most important; the casts to populate and sing those works will follow.

In addition to his ongoing duties with Sacramento Opera, Maestro Rolek has been a guest conductor with a number of notable opera companies. He continues his association with Opera Idaho, first conducting for them in their 2011/12 season and then this past 2012/13 season for a joint production with Ballet Idaho of
Pulcinella and I Pagliacci. His next appearance with this company will be for their production of Werther in May 2017. Other guest conducting engagements with opera companies have included Nevada Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre, Rimrock Opera, Opera Delaware and Chautauqua Opera. He has held a staff position with the Minnesota Opera and was a part of the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2011, Sacramento Opera included the company’s first foray into baroque opera with a production of Handel’s
Orlando. During his tenure with Sacramento Opera, he developed relationships with many directors with whom he collaborated any number of times. For the 2009/10 season, his selections were L’elisir d’amore, La Traviata and a double bill, titled A Russian Affair, that included the best of both Pique Dame and Eugene Onegin accompanied by narrated portions of the original Pushkin plays to be spoken in Russian with English subtitles. In fact, this double bill has worked extremely well with symphony orchestra programming as well. In the 2008/09 season, productions included The Pirates of Penzance, Le nozze di Figaro and La Bohème. This was their first venture into presenting one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s favorite works.

Equally at home with symphony orchestra repertoire, Maestro Rolek continues in his role as the Artistic Director and Principle Conductor for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival. And, because of his commitment to education at all levels, he is one of the guest coaches and conductors for the Sacramento Youth Symphony summer chamber music program. During the summer of 2008 his conducting duties also included collaboration with the Reno Philharmonic. From 1995 until 2005 Maestro Rolek was the Music Director of the Grand Forks Symphony ND. He returned in 2009 for a Baroque program celebrating their 100th anniversary. He formerly served as Music Director of the Heartland Symphony (1993-1998) and has been a guest conductor with a number of other symphony orchestras as well. He is currently serving as Artistic Consultant for the Brookings Concert Series (Oregon).

Timm Rolek’s repertoire is wide-ranging for both the opera stage and for symphony orchestras. His recordings include Jerre Tanner’s
The Kona Coffee Cantata with the Prague Chamber Orchestra, and Joseph Fennimore’s Eventide (both on the Albany/Troy label). He conducted the American premiere of Ernst Krenek’s Das Geheime Koenigreich and has participated in the Pierre Boulez / IRCAM composers and conductors workshop at Carnegie Hall. Twin Cities Public Television KTCA-2 featured him on their two-time Emmy Award-winning program Arts on 2. In conjunction with Northern Lights Public Radio, he produced a nine-part radio-program called Music In Our Century. He has served on a Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest grant panel, Singer Workshop panel for Opera America, has been a frequent judge for competitions including the National Council Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera.

After studying composition at the University of Minnesota, Maestro Rolek studied conducting with Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Neville Marriner, Klaus Tennstedt, and James Levine.  An avid water sports enthusiast, Rolek has participated in both the Alcatraz Swim across San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Cup sailboat race from San Francisco to Hawaii.  He makes his home in Brookings, Oregon where he serves on the city’s Public Art Committee and the county coalition for the Oregon Cultural Trust. Rolek’s first novel,
Deceptive Cadence, was released in January 2013 and he is working on his next novel. In addition, he is collaborating on a biographical account of a noted 20th Century artist whose compositions are receiving new editions. A major announcement about this project will be made in mid-2014.

Artist's Biography

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 17:43