Meet Opera Theatre's Andrew Jorgensen
A New Face To Remember: 10 Things Andrew Jorgensen Cannot Live Without
Written By Carrie Edelstein
Photography By Eric Woolsey
Some might already find him to be a familiar face. Andrew Jorgensen first came to St. Louis a few years ago to scout talent and get ideas from the Opera Theatre on behalf of his then post as Director of Artistic Planning and Operations with the Washington National Opera. That’s where Jorgensen first met Timothy O’Leary. Fast forward six years and now the two are basically swapping jobs. Jorgensen, who has been the Interim Executive Director at the Kennedy Center, is the new General Director of Opera Theatre St. Louis. And O’Leary is the new Executive Director of the Washington National Opera.
“Tim did not poach me,” Jorgensen laughs as he shares how the two are close friends. He adds, “Tim is actually my biggest champion for me coming to Opera Theatre. We joke how Tim took me to what we now refer to as the ‘retention dinner’ in Washington and I said ‘Well actually I just had a call yesterday about your job.’”
All is good and now Jorgensen is settling into his new home in Lafayette Square. After many visits to St. Louis during the Festival Season, Jorgensen is looking forward to what’s ahead in his new role. “One of things I’m most jazzed about is that Opera Theatre has this incredible legacy and commitment to producing new work. So many companies want to do that and the audiences aren’t primed for it. Opera Theatre, it’s a gift to the management that the audience gets excited about and embraces new work. And that’s something I will continue and love to work on.”
Born and raised in the Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia, we wondered what would be on the moving truck and what else Andrew Jorgensen can’t live without.
1) His husband, Mark, and Aria, their Tibetan terrier puppy. “We’ve been married three years but together for nine.”
2) His 1942 Steinway S Baby Grand in mahogany, with the original ivory keys, the piano he played growing up. “I play every day, especially Mozart, Debussy and Gershwin.”
3) “My smartphone. I am constantly connected at work and with family around the country and the world. We have family WhatsApp chats everyday with family on Mark’s side and on my side with people all over the world.”
4) A pair of running sneakers (to counteract the M&Ms, another must-have).
5) A morning cup of coffee and an evening rye Manhattan. Jorgensen has already visited Kaldi’s in the Central West End several times but admits he’s more of a “gas station coffee” kind of guy meaning any cup will do!
6) A well-tailored suit.
7) Personalized stationery. “The power of the thank you note cannot be overstated.”
8) Noise-canceling headphones.
9) Summer vacations with family in Cape Cod.
10) “My desert island opera records: Luciano Pavarotti singing La bohème and Kiri Te Kanawa singing The Marriage of Figaro.