Opera Pacifica, Olympia WA
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Carmen, Marriage of Figaro, Opera, Magic Flute, Cavalleria Rusticana

Maestro Claudia Simpson-Jones

Maestro for Opera pacifica and this season's Principal Guest Conductor for the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, Olympia, Washington.

Maestro Claudia Simpson-JonesClaudia Simpson-Jones began studying piano at age 5. By age 10 she was studying pipe organ, clarinet, oboe, and violin. It was assumed that she would study music and become a teacher, but the lights of Las Vegas lured her away from Florida State University in the ‘60’s and she and a college mate formed a twin piano act in which they played not only the two pianos, but banjos, clarinets, trumpets, fiddles, and guitars.

After playing Vegas and touring the US, Canada, and the Bahamas, it became apparent that the act needed more efficient transportation than a station wagon, so Claudia volunteered to learn to fly and spent the next several years flying the group around, amassing experience and flight hours. In 1977 she was one of the first three women hired to fly Boeing 727’s at Continental Airlines. September of 2000 she retired as a senior captain for Southwest Airlines, flying Boeing 737’s, in order to pursue her longtime passion—opera conducting. She has studied conducting at FSU, University of South Carolina in Columbia, and Spoleto. In 2001 she conducted the National Opera Orchestra in Beijing, and in 2002 she recorded the CD “An American Tenor in China” with Robert William Corl and the China Opera and Dance Symphony of Beijing.

Claudia is President, co-founder and principal conductor of Opera Pacifica Education and Repertory Association (O.P.E.R.A.). She is presently employed as a classroom and flight simulator instructor for the Boeing 737 series aircraft at Alaska Airlines Training Department.

In addition to her otherwise busy schedule, Claudia is the principal conductor for the Olympia Chamber Orchestra.




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