JAMES K. MCCULLY,  President  &  General Director


Honors Nominee James K. McCully

The Governor's Awards for the Arts recognizes Excellence in the Arts in the Commonwealth. The Awards are recognized as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the Arts to the quality of life in Virginia.

President of First Virginia Bank Michael G. Anzilotti and Chairman of the Governor's Arts Awards presented a Certificate of Recognition honoring Nominee James K. McCully, Jr. for his accomplishments as part of the Governor's Awards for the Arts.

Mr. Michael Anzilotti, chairman of Governor's Awards for the Arts Steering Committee states, "This nomination applauds excellence in; and encouragement and support of; and investment in the Arts in the Commonwealth of Virginia."



JAMES K. McCULLY, JR., opera director, music director, educator, has been a strong supporter of young artists and artists training programs. For over a decade, Mr. McCully has served as an On-Site Evaluator of professional opera and music theater companies training programs across the nation for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. McCully has established an outstanding reputation for evaluating young artists as adjudicator of the Metropolitan Opera auditions with the Paris Opera's artistic director Bernard LeFort, and the National Opera Association Vocal Competition with Metropolitan Opera tenor George Shirley. As a member of the voice faculty of the Catholic University of America and National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Mr. McCully's students have performed with major international/national companiesand at major vocal competitions.

Mr. McCully showcases his talented young artists at The National Theatre and The White House; and attracts some of the finest young artists from around the world competing at the National Musuem of Women in the Arts as part of the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition with International Honorary Chairs Dame Joan Sutherland and Maestro Richard Boynagne.

Mr. McCully was the chairman of the National Opera Association Convention sponsored by Musical America with a Welcome Reception hosted by Metropolitan Opera tenor Placido Domingo at Kennedy Center. Mr. McCully honored Banff Centre for the Arts at the Canadian Embassy for their outstanding international commitment to producing World and North American premieres; and presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to American Opera Composers Carlisle Floyd, Thea Musgrave, Robert Ward, Jack Beesom, Kirke Mechem and Seymour Barab.

Mr. McCully has been a champion of young artists and artists training programs, and has perpetuated the art of vocal training by meeting the needs of developing young talented artists aspiring to an international career. Mr. McCully has worked tirelessly in his commitment to excellence in the arts by fostering and developing new talent, new audiences and new works that insure the health and vitality of the opera and music theater field for future generations to come.

The Governor's Awards for the Arts are administered by Virginians for the Arts, a statewide advocacy organization founded in 1992 to advance the interest of the arts and artists for the benefit of all citizens of Virginia.







"Mr. McCully, it is great that you are doing such good work to help young singers and we both wish you the greatest of success."

Dame Joan Sutherland &
Maestro Richard Bonynge
The Metropolitan Opera, International Artists

"Mr. McCully's determination to make the 43rd National Opera Association Convention a memorable event was everywhere apparent, and he achieved his goal."

George Shirley
The Metropolitan Opera, International Artist

"Mr. McCully, thank you also for your important part in making the 43rd National Opera Association Convention the biggest and best yet."

Kirke Mechem, Opera Composer

"Mr. McCully, we talked about you and your superb arrangements for the recent convention. We've never met a vocal teacher and coach who was capable of doing what you did. We were particularly impressed with your calm and outwardly serene manner throughout the hectic days. And you are a gentleman. Thank you for all that. For all your future endeavors our very best wishes go with you."

Evelyn Lear & Thomas Stewart
The Metropolitan Opera, International Artists

"James K. McCully, National Endowment for the Arts, Opera-Musical Theater Fellow, served as judge of the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions. The other judges on that occasion were Bernard LeFort, Artistic Director of the Paris Opera. The winning contestant, now Metropolitan Opera soprano Jan Grissom, studied with Elena Nikolaidi."

Dr. Leland Fox,
The Metropolitan Opera Auditions, coordinator

"I have been asked by James McCully to provide a letter confirming his participation as a judge of the National Opera Association Vocal Competition at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Mr. McCully shared responsibilities of adjudication with me and with Miss Irma Cooper of the American Institute of Musical Studies." (The winning Contestant, now San Francisco Opera soprano Dana Beth Miller)

George Shirley
The Metropolitan Opera, International Artist

"As a vocal coach, Mr. McCully has a fine gift to share with his students; not only with his fine talent but also in the amount of extra time he spends with each student."

Dr. David Young
The Kennedy Center, Producing Director

"Mr. McCully is a competent and dedicated vocal practitioner. The technique he uses is outstanding as he possesses a keen understanding of the detailed work that goes into voice development."

Dr. C. Wayne Rudisill
The National Conservatory, President

"Mr. McCully, the caliber of singers you brought to our stage was breathtaking. Any one of them alone could have held an audience spellbound: the ensemble was dazzling indeed."

Dr. Donn Murphy
The National Theatre, President

"Mr. McCully, I cannot begin to tell you how grateful we are to you for your appearance at the White House. The President and Mrs. Clinton join me in extending many thanks for your time and talents."

Capricia Penacia Marshall
The White House, Social Secretary

"James McCully was an Opera-Musical Theater Fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts. He performed his work with commendable thoroughness, and aided the  program in the running of the important Professional Companies Funding Panel Meetings and National Council on the Arts Funding Meetings. He prepared a time-line chart of a series of grants, entitled New American Works Updates, which this program has made over the previous years. This time-line chart had been invaluable to us in the our future planning. He also prepared an Opera-Musical Theater Fiscal Year Report that was past on to the Chairman. James was always a helpful presence that has made a distinct difference at a time of transition within the program."

Patrick Smith
OPERA NEWS, editor
National Endowment for the Arts, director
Opera-Musical Theater Program

"I invited Mr. McCully to be an On-Site Evaluator for the Opera-Musical Theater Program based on his familiarity with the grants process, having been a Fellow in the Program under my predecessor, Patrick Smith, who had left to become editor of OPERA NEWS.

I found Mr. McCully to be reliable, insightful, and thorough in fulfilling this important task, which he agreed to do, as a service to the field. Among his many accomplishments, I am personally impressed by his success in creating International Forums for Singers and Conductors; his ability to enlist the participation of such major figures as Placido Domingo and Dame Joan Sutherland; his commitment to American Works; and his support of young talent."

Tomas C. Hernandez
National Endowment for the Arts, director
Opera-Musical Theater Program

"James McCully, an individual I have known through his participation and membership in the National Opera Association as a State Governor, as an active Convention Associate, and through his establishment of an opera scholarship for outstanding young singers through the National Opera Association's Vocal Competition. I have been impressed with his diligence and enthusiasm in all of these areas. I know that he has been industrious in his promotion of opera and his encouragement of young artists."

Dr. Randall L. Holden
National Opera Association, president

"Over the past several years, I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. James McCully in the preparation and coaching of roles for the stage. Mr. McCully is a fine musician and very gifted vocal coach whose students consistently receive contracts from opera and musical theater companies. I think James is a very personable and gracious young man with a very strong knowledge of the opera-musical theater field."

Dr. Michael Cordovana
Assistant to Maestro Nicola Rescigna
The Dallas Opera, assistant conductor
The Washington Opera, assistant conductor
The Catholic University of America, opera director

"Mr. McCully has been Production Coordinator for the Central City Opera. In this capacity, he has been responsible for the tracking of company hours, company expenditures in cooperation with the bookkeeper, weekly formulation of work
and financial reports, overall responsibility for rehearsal schedule, and various duties coordinating production department with the artistic staff. He performed his duties responsibly and with good humor. He is personable and gets along well with people. In his work he is conscientious and often stayed at his desk long after was expected. He already has a good background and considerable experience in this field, and I believe he has a talent for it."

John Moriarty
Central City Opera, artistic director
New England Conservatory, Opera Director

"Mr. McCully has been an active and important supporter to the Arts through his support of the Source Theatre Company. As a member of the Board of Trustees, James was actively involved in the Capital Campaign Committee, one of the Board's most crucial areas of duties as we initiated and completed the first phase of building renovations. James was a valuable and supportive Board member; he never failed to meet his commitments to the theatre, whether such commitments were financial or administrative. In truth, James was one of the most reliable members of our Board."

Pat Murphy Sheehy
The Source Theatre, artistic director
League of Washington Theatres, president

"I was consistently impressed with Mr. McCully's ability to understand the intricacies and problems facing non-profit arts organizations. James clearly exhibits the proper leadership and commitment, that together are essential to the success of any arts institution. He is a strong and capable arts administrator whose knowledge and sensitivity would be a definite asset to any organization."

Michelle Gaza
Los Angeles Theatre Alliance, executive director

"Mr. McCully, I am deeply honoured by the Award of Excellence that you have given me. I very much appreciate this gesture. Composing is sometimes a very lonely occupation and it is very gratifying to have this kind of recognition."

Thea Musgrave, Opera Composer


Paul Hume and James K. McCully
Washington Post Music Critic Paul Hume and James K. McCully

James K. McCully in Concert




"The awards are an exciting opportunity to celebrate the depth and breadth of the artistic community in the Commonwealth"
   - Roger Neathawk, executive director of Virginians for the Arts


For Exceptional Contributions To Enhancing The Quality of Artistic Opportunities

Marjorie Lawrence Centennial Celebration Commission Memorializes 100th Anniversary of Metropolitan Opera Star

National Endowment for the Arts director of former Opera-Musical Theater Program Elected OMTI President

Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition Was Clearly A Success

The Belmont Mansion Grand Ball Great Performances

International Arts Management Awards Announced

Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Master Class

American Musicals A Gift To World Theater

International Congress on Singer Training

International Conductors Forum

Ryan Edwards Master Class

International Singers Forum

National Theatre Concert


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