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Arizona Opera General Director Discusses Trying New Venues, Challenges

Arizona Opera implemented a creative plan a few years ago under its former general director to have the state and the Southwest seem more connected to the company. As part of that, the Arizona Bold initiative presented productions like "Arizona Lady" and "Riders of the Purple Sage."

When Joseph Specter came in as general director midway through 2016, he brought some ideas of his own, which are reflected in the company’s schedule next season, which was already released to the public earlier this month.

Arizona Opera will also be trying out some new venues, including the Herberger Theatre Center, for a variety of different-sized productions.

I recently visited Specter in his Central Avenue office. I started the conversation by asking how he’s tried to connect the company with the state, which has built-in challenges, including a past history of financial obstacles to overcome.

Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.