Melissa Wegner becomes Executive Director of National Council Auditions

New York, NY (May 31, 2018) – The Metropolitan Opera announced that Diane Zola has been appointed the company’s new Assistant General Manager, Artistic, replacing the late Robert Rattray. She will begin working at the Met in July. The Met also announced that Melissa Wegner has been named the company’s Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (MONC), beginning in June. Zola has more than 30 years of experience in opera and is currently Director of Artistic Administration at Houston Grand Opera. She joined the HGO in August 2000 as director of HGO Studio, an internationally acclaimed training program for young opera singers, pianists, and coaches. She serves on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and has been the Artistic Consultant for the Atkins Young Artist Program at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Working closely with General Manager Peter Gelb and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Zola will be responsible for managing the forward planning, scheduling, and casting of more than 200 opera performances each season. She will oversee the Met’s music and artistic staffs; the scheduling of rehearsals, performances, and auditions; and liaising with artist managers, opera company executives, and other music organizations, as well as the thousands of performing artists who work with the company each season.

“It is with much enthusiasm that I join the Metropolitan Opera and the many amazing colleagues here,” said Zola. “The possibility of working at the Met has been a dream of mine and it is now a dream come true. I look forward calling the Met my new home and to working with all to continue to make it the great opera house that it is.”

“Yannick and I are very pleased that Diane has agreed to come to the Met,” said Gelb. “She has the contacts and the imagination to ably lead the Met’s artistic staff forward as Yannick assumes his duties as Music Director in the fall—a time of great excitement for the company.”

Melissa Wegner, who has been the Deputy Director of the National Council Auditions and Artistic Administration Associate since 2017, joined the Met in 2011 as the Associate Director of the program. The Met National Council Auditions are a major stepping stone to a career in opera. More than 120 singers on the Met roster this season have participated in the auditions, which were crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens, Angela Meade, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green. The Met’s 2018–19 season, announced in February, will feature four new productions, the return of Wagner’s four-opera masterwork Der Ring des Nibelungen, and 18 revivals.

The season opens September 24 with a new production of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, conducted by Sir Mark Elder and directed by Tony Award–winner Darko Tresnjak. For more information on the Met, please visit


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