Dr. Shanté Williams Becomes First Woman Of Color To Lead Opera Carolina Since Its Establishment 76 Years Ago

by Gee NY

Dr. Shanté Williams has made history as the first woman of color to lead Opera Carolina since its inception 76 years ago.

Recently appointed as the opera company’s new general director, Dr. Williams will officially begin her role on July 1, succeeding James Meena, according to Opera Wire.

“I look forward to leading the business operations as Maestro Meena continues to serve as Artistic Director,” said Dr. Williams in anticipation of her new position.

She expressed enthusiasm about working with a dedicated staff and passionate board to expand Opera Carolina’s role in Charlotte’s artistic community, aiming to foster healing, inspiration, and joy.

Carol Kendrick, Chair of the Board of Directors, expressed collective excitement about Dr. Williams’ appointment, highlighting her track record of successful fundraising and business leadership.

Kendrick also spoke about Dr. Williams’ deep roots in Charlotte and her strong support for Opera Carolina in past endeavors.

Dr. Williams assumes leadership at a pivotal moment as Opera Carolina navigates post-pandemic challenges.

Her leadership is anticipated to elevate the company to new levels of excellence while solidifying its position as a cultural cornerstone in Charlotte.

Beyond her role on the board, Dr. Williams brings extensive experience as CEO of Black Pearl Vision and Black Pearl Global Investments, overseeing a $25 million venture capital fund.

Her academic background includes degrees from Winston-Salem State University, Queen’s University of Charlotte, and a doctorate in integrated biomedical science from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Williams’ involvement with Opera Carolina has been substantial, including recognition for her contributions to Pre-Curtain Dinners and sponsorship of the production featuring opera star Denyce Graves.

Her appointment marks a significant milestone in diversifying leadership within the opera community.

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