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Opera director puts talents to work at MIT

Patricia Weinmann
Patricia Weinmann

One of an occasional series featuring MIT staff members who are practicing artists.

Like many at MIT, Patricia Weinmann keeps a lot of proverbial balls in the air.

At MIT she is assistant coordinator of the Technology and Culture Forum (T&C), helping to organize lectures and symposia that explore the role of science and technology in promoting positive social, ecological and economic change.

But she is also a full-time faculty member in the New England Conservatory's Opera Studies Department and director of its Opera Workshop.

This weekend she is directing Mozart's opera, "Cos�� fan tutte," New England Conservatory's salute to Mozart's 250th birthday.

Weinmann is also a director for Utah Opera and its Young Artist Program, traveling to Salt Lake City three to four times a year to train some of the country's most talented young singers. And, she directs the featured opera for Utah Symphony and Opera's Deer Valley Festival in Park City, Utah.

In addition, Weinmann is education advisor on the board of directors for the Boston-based Prometheus Dance, and partner in a new consulting company for presentation and communication skills.

How can one person juggle so much?

"Somehow it all gets done," Weinmann said, admitting that sleep is in short supply. "I've always been a very energetic person."

Weinmann said she finds renewal through her activities at MIT. She started working here 21 years ago while at graduate school at the Boston Conservatory. "I was always interested in global issues and politics, so it seemed like a great part-time job to get me through grad school," she said. But Weinmann enjoyed her work so much that even after she got her degree in opera direction/production, she decided to stay.

"The students and faculty we work with at T&C are fantastic people and they give me hope that mankind may have a chance yet," she said.

"Cos�� fan tutte," New England Conservatory's salute to Mozart's 250th birthday, will be staged on Saturday, March 11, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 12, at 3 p.m. at the Cutler Majestic Theater (219 Tremont St., Boston). Tickets cost $15 plus fees. For more information, visit

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 8, 2006 (download PDF).

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