Our Mission

Vashon Opera’s mission is to enrich our community through the creation of opera in intimate settings.

The History

The Vashon Opera was founded in November, 2008 by a small collection of opera lovers who knew opera could thrive on Vashon. The process began then to incorporate as a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization. La bohème was chosen as their first production due to the members’ desire to perform the famed Puccini opera. That desire became a reality with the 2009-2010 inaugural season and 501(c)(3) status was granted by the IRS in March 2009.

About Us

Allison Pohl, Artistic Director

Capping off a stellar performance as Susanna in Vashon Opera’s 2023 production of The Marriage of Figaro, soprano Allison Pohl joined the ranks of the company’s leadership as the new Artistic Director in October 2023. Pohl’s critically acclaimed stage presence, artistry and vocal talent have delighted Vashon Opera audiences for years (including Dialogues of the Carmelites in 2016 and Ariadne auf Naxos in 2022). 

Ms. Pohl has appeared with opera companies and orchestras throughout the United States, including Boston Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Saratoga, Tacoma Opera, Vashon Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera Providence, Opera on the James, Seattle Symphony, Canton Symphony, Symphony Tacoma, Bremerton Symphony, Seattle Philharmonic, Garden State Philharmonic, Harmonia Seattle, and SkyOpera, and has been a soloist for orchestral tours in both Italy and China. As a member of Soprello, Allison has performed chamber music across North America with cellist Alistair MacRae. 

Ms. Pohl is a Seattle Opera Career Grant recipient, winner of the Seattle Philharmonic Concerto Competition, is on faculty at Brevard Music Center, and holds degrees from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and Boston University. She maintains an active and busy performance schedule in Puget Sound and beyond. Find out more about her upcoming performance schedule at https://www.allisonpohl.com

To reach out to Allison Pohl at Vashon Opera, fill out the Contact Us form.

James Brown, Conductor, Stage Director, Musical Director, and Orchestral Arranger

James Brown enjoys an eclectic career of conducting, concertizing as a singer, stage directing, and voice teaching. James joined Vashon Opera through stage directing and conducting The Barber of Seville in Vashon Opera's second season. Ever since he has become the musical and theatrical engine behind the company bringing his multiple talents to bear in many productions. He is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he directs the opera and oversees a large voice program. His voice students have gone on to study at graduate programs such as Indiana University, The Juilliard School, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and Yale University. As a tenor, James sang in many professional opera productions under the batons of such conductors as James Conlon, John DeMain, Richard Hickox, Julius Rudel, and Robert Spano. As the regular conductor and stage director for Vashon Opera, James has led productions of Il Barbiere di SivigliaCarmenCosi fan tutteLes Dialogues des CarmélitesDie FledermausDon GiovanniEugene OneginMadama ButterflyPagliacciTosca, and Werther. Other notable productions as stage director include Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s SemeleLa bohème and a critically acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd (Lakewood Playhouse). Recent productions for James include Die Fledermaus and Die Zauberflöte at PLU Opera. After Cavalleria Rusticana for Vashon Opera, James will travel to Reno, Nevada to stage direct Trouble in Tahiti for the Reno Chamber Orchestra. James was a Resident Artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and holds degrees in voice from Loyola University/New Orleans, The Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Jennifer Krikawa, General Director

Krikawa arrived on Vashon Island with her husband, Andy, and their two kids in the fall of 2004. “We left New York to find a quiet place to raise our children,” she says. “We just landed in the most wonderful place by chance.”

Back East, Krikawa, a soprano, sang for several opera companies including the New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, and Connecticut Opera. She appeared on the stage of the famed Carnegie Hall as a soloist for Francisco Scarlatti’s Dixit Dominus, Vaughan Williams’ Benedicite and Francis Poulenc’s Gloria.

On island, she quickly enmeshed herself with Vashon’s vibrant music scene, notably her church choir and then the Vashon Island Chorale. She sang The Magic Flute, produced by Elizabeth Nye, at the Vashon Island Methodist Church in 2006. Later she performed a recital, selling it out with all proceeds benefiting the Vashon Island Chorale.

She has since sung at many sold out events. “We realized that the community is really interested in opera at a local level,” she notes. “We felt we were ready to take on the work and care that an opera company would need and we felt the community was behind us.” Thus, the Vashon Opera was born.

Krikawa served as Artistic Director from the company’s inception through September 2023, when she assumed the new role of General Director. Krikawa and the board invited acclaimed soprano Allison Pohl to serve as Vashon Opera’s new Artistic Director in October 2023.

Vashon Opera Board Members

Leslie McIntosh, President
Anne Terry
Jennifer Krikawa