Clinton Smith's 2021/2022 season includes a return to Dayton Opera to conduct L'elisir d'amore and Opera Las Vegas to conduct Strawberry Fields/Trouble In Tahiti. He will cover Tosca and Attila at Sarasota Opera, make his Opera Company of Middlebury conducting debut with Orphée, and will regularly coach Atlanta Opera's young artists. He spent his ninth summer on the music staff at Santa Fe Opera covering the world premiere of Corgliano/Adamo's Lord of Cries.
His 2020/21 season included conducting Atlanta Opera's new "Big Tent" productions of Der Kaiser von Atlantis and The Threepenny Opera, and a virtual recital for Opera Orlando. Season 19/20 included debuts at Florentine Opera conducting Le nozze di Figaro and Opera Birmingham conducting Cendrillon. He returned to Dayton Opera to conduct Cenerentola, and Tacoma Opera to conduct L'elisir d'amore.
Mr. Smith’s recent conducting credits include Charlie Parker's Yardbird at Atlanta and Arizona Operas, Il barbiere di Siviglia at Dayton Opera and the University of Michigan, Pagliacci/Pulcinella at Opera Orlando, Le nozze di Figaro at Tacoma Opera, Alcina at Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Turandot, Norma, and Hansel und Gretel with Pacific Northwest Opera, The Mikado for Kentucky Opera, and Noah's Flood with Opera Las Vegas. He has served on the music staff of Santa Fe Opera, Juilliard Opera, Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, Portland Opera, Kentucky Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, and Skylark Operas and has included the preparation of over sixty operas in German, Italian, French, English, Czech, Russian, and Mandarin.
On equal footing in the orchestral world, Mr. Smith recently concluded a collective nine years as music and artistic director of both Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers and the St. Cloud Symphony, conducting over 60 orchestral, oratorio, chamber, pops, educational, and holiday concert performances. While music director of OSSCS, he saw subscriptions double and worked in tandem with the managing director to double annual fundraising events. Among his many accomplishments include conducting seven to ten subscription concerts a season, creating a chamber music series, annual Messiah performances, and partnering with numerous cultural and educational organizations including the Hong Kong Association of Washington, the Seattle Chinese Arts Group, German Consulate, Cornish College, and Seattle University, to name a few. He launched a composer competition which premiered a new work annually, and a concerto competition to showcase local talent. His carefully curated programming focused on locally relevant themes, and explored an enormous breadth of musical styles and genres.
"Music often touches us in a way words cannot, and for me, Maestro Clinton Smith's rendition of Schnyder's score went straight to the heart. His ensemble played every style and every layer of intense harmonic color with graceful fluidity."
- Maria Nockin, OPERA WIRE
For four seasons, Minnesota Opera engaged Mr. Smith as cover conductor and chorus master, where he led main stage performances of La traviata and Madama Butterfly and covered the St. Paul Chamber and Minnesota Opera Orchestras in over 20 productions. During 2011, Mr. Smith conducted a workshop and prepared the world premiere of Kevin Puts'’ opera Silent Night, which won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. For Minnesota Opera's New Works Initiative, Mr. Smith prepared workshops & performances of Douglas J. Cuomo's Doubt, Rick Ian Gordon's The Garden of the Finzi Continis, and the North-American premiere of Jonathan Dove's The Adventures of Pinocchio, as well as Dominick Argento's Casanova's Homecoming and Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights.
Previous positions include assistant conductor and chorus master for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program, assistant conductor for Glimmerglass Opera, music director of Western Ontario University's Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, guest coach at the National University of Taiwan, music director and conductor of the Franco-American Vocal Academy in France, the Austrian-American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, and the University of Michigan Life Sciences Orchestra. Born in Texas, Mr. Smith holds degrees in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan and piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin.