Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Internationally acclaimed American conductor, Viswa Subbaraman, recently served as the Artistic Director/Music Director of the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee. During his tenure at the Skylight, he has expanded the company’s repertoire and placed it at the forefront of the industry in producing contemporary opera and reimaging traditional works. His most recent production was Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face, directed by Robin Guarino, which was declared “a triumph for Skylight’s artistic leader” ( and he was praised for his “sublime control of this music, and the singers” ( Other highlights include Beethoven’s Fidelio, set in a Bollywood production, which he conducted and stage directed; the world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul’s Snow Dragon which traveled to Bangkok, Thailand; Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox; and acclaimed mountings of Puccini’s iconic Tosca and Rossini’s La Cenerentola, modified for Skylight’s unique, 200-seat Baroque theater. Recognition during his time at the Skylight include being selected by the Milwaukee Business Journal as one of Milwaukee’s 40 Under 40 for 2015, receiving an invitation to speak at INKTalks in India as a 2014 INK Fellow and being named by Dave Begel as one of Milwaukee’s 14 most influential people.

In addition to his duties at the Skylight in the 2015-2016 season, Subbaraman makes his debut with Opera Saratoga leading the American Premiere of Philip Glass’ The Witches of Venice and collaborates with Milwaukee Opera Theatre on a production of Missy Mazzoli’s Songs from the Uproar.

Previous to his time with the Skylight, Subbaraman was the Artistic Director/Founder of Opera Vista, Houston’s innovative contemporary opera company. In his time with Opera Vista, Subbaraman was selected by the HoustonPress as a 100 Creatives 2012: one of the one hundred most creative people in Houston. Opera Vista and Subbaraman were also honored with the 2010 Mastermind Award from the HoustonPress for artistic creativity and innovative outreach.  Performance highlights during his tenure with Opera Vista include the world premiere of James Norman's Wake…, the world premiere of Line Tjørnhøj’s Anorexia Sacra (marking Subbaraman’s stage directing debut), the Texas Premiere and historic New Orleans premiere of Amy Beach's Cabildo, the world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul’s The Silent Prince, and the creation of the annual Vista Competition for new opera.


Photographer: Krzysztof Lisiak