Jeffrey Wells, the artistic director of the Oconee Performing Arts Society, will retire in July 2020, according to the OPAS Board of Directors.

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OPAS artistic director Jeffrey Wells has announced that he plans to retire next summer.

“The entire OPAS organization, and the community at large, is extremely indebted to Jeffrey for the contribution he has made to the cultural life of the lake country,” said Carolyn Fears, board chair of OPAS. “We are pleased that he will be in his role for a while longer and be able to provide counsel to the board as we search for his successor.”

With over 37 years as a professional opera performer, Jeffrey Wells began with OPAS in 2011 as artistic director while he continued his performance career. He reached a major career milestone in 2017 when he retired after 25 years as a principal artist at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

During his tenure at OPAS, Wells has brought many of the world’s best performing artists to the lake country. He has tirelessly engaged with the community to nurture and grow the OPAS membership. Also important to his enduring legacy is his expansion of the performing arts education programming for the area’s students, his advocacy for OPAS scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing performing arts college education, and his creation of the OPAS Community Youth Chorus for middle and high school vocalists in Greene, Putnam and Morgan counties.

“The board last year created the Jeffrey Wells Society for Performing Arts Education that will be a perpetual legacy to Jeffrey’s impact on this community,” said Fears. “He has made this a better place.”

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