OUR MUSIC DIRECTOR
Music Director Kenneth Olsson is a native of Connecticut and received his musical training at Ithaca College, where he received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. While at Ithaca College, Kenappeared in opera productions of Die Fledermaus, The Tender Land and The Mikado. Ken became Musical Director of the Cornell Savoyards, leading performances of Ruddigore, The Grand Duke and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Ken went on to study opera at Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY. Ken performed in productions of Norma, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Madama Butterfly, Faust, Roméo et Juliette, Così fan tutte, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Kismet and La Traviata, and had featured roles in Carmen, Die Fledermaus, and Amahl and the Night Visitors. While in Binghamton, Ken was a vocal coach and accompanist at Binghamton University. He also appeared with the Binghamton Summer Savoyards in The Pirates of Penzance, as Musical Director, The Sorcerer, as Alexis, and Yeomen of the Guard, as Assistant Musical Director.
Other associations include the St. Anthony Players, where Ken was the Musical Director of Jesus Christ Superstar, and the Endicott Performing Arts Center, where Ken played in the pit for Peter Pan and Cabaret. Ken made many appearances with the Opera Cabaret of Endicott where he accompanied several Metropolitan Opera singers, including Guido LeBròn, Fabiana Bravo, and American tenor Richard Leech. Ken has been a sought-after pianist and has performed in recitals throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey.
Ken began a 10 year association with the Elmira College Theatre Department and was pianist for their musical productions Jerry’s Girls, The Music Man, Dames at Sea, Honk!, Little Shop of Horrors, Pippin, And the World Goes ‘Round and Baby, and was Musical Director for Songs for a New World, Always…Patsy Cline, Lucky Stiff, Beehive, and Cabaret. Ken joined Syracuse Opera as an Assistant Conductor and was rehearsal pianist for productions of Macbeth, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Magic Flute, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, The Pirates of Penzance, Tosca, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Otello.
Since moving to Vermont, Ken has performed with the Opera Theatre of Weston in Die Fledermaus and Raylynmoor Opera in Don Giovanni, the latter of which Ken was Assistant Conductor. Ken has been Music Director at Main Street Arts in Saxtons River, leading performances of H.M.S. Pinafore, The Gondoliers, High Button Shoes and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. For the Jamaica Town Hall, Ken produced Amahl and the Night Visitors, starring his wife, Julie, as the Mother. Ken also conducted Amahl for a special production mounted at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Brattleboro, VT.
In 2008, Ken became the Music Director of both the West River Valley Chorus, in Townshend, VT, and Nordic Harmoni, in Londonderry, VT. Nordic Harmoni, a member of the American Union of Swedish Singers, nominated and elected Ken as the National Assistant Director-in-Chief. Recently, Ken also was elected the AUSS Eastern Division Director-in-Chief.
Ken performs with his best friend and favorite dramatic soprano, Julie Olsson, in recitals, opera and musical theater. They perform as “The Dynamic Two-O”, singing in a range of genres, including the Great American Songbook, Art songs, opera, operetta, musical theater, and adult contemporary. Ken and Julie are co-founders of Souther Vermont Lyric Theatre (SVeLT). They live in Jamaica, VT, and have three beautiful and talented children.