Founding Director

Christina Farrell

Photo by TINT

Christina Farrell received her BFA in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and her MA in Educational Theatre from New York University. As Founding Director of Opera Ignite, she has conducted classroom residencies, professional development for teachers and audience engagement workshops in collaboration with organizations including Toledo OperaPittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, PNC Grow Up Great, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Playtime Poppy, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Attack TheatreThe Frick Art & Historical CenterChildren’s Museum of PittsburghThree Rivers Arts FestivalWestmoreland Museum of American ArtWestmoreland Symphony OrchestraThe Point Chamber Orchestra, and Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra.

Christina is rostered nationally as a Master Teaching Artist with the Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts Institute. She has been a featured Wolf Trap presenter and keynote speaker for early childhood conferences including the 2014 Arts Education Partnership (AEP) National Forum and multiple National Association for the Education of Young Children NAEYC Conferences. Through Wolf Trap’s partnership with the Singapore National Arts Council and Early Childhood Development Agency, Christina led classroom residencies, professional development for teachers, and artist trainings in Singapore. She also conducted a classroom residency in Rajkot, India and professional development for teaching artists in South Korea.

Christina is dedicated to furthering the field of teaching artistry by supporting the professional growth of teaching artists. She was a mentor Teaching Artist for Gateway to the Arts’ Aesthetic Education Institute, Western Pennsylvania Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning in the Arts, and Gateway to the Arts’ K-12 Teaching Artist Learning Lab (TALL) initiative. In 2020, she founded Throughline Arts to provide professional support to teaching artists in her home state of Iowa.

Christina participated in the 2018 Lincoln Center Education Leadership Lab, led by Eric Booth. She serves on multiple advisory committees, including the Teaching Artists Guild National Advisory Committee, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Education Advisory Committee, Opera Teaching Artist Network Leadership Committee led by Opera America, Gallagher Bluedorn Education Advisory Council, and Any Given Child Iowa City Advisory Committee. She was chosen as the 2007 Gateway to the Arts’ Hardie Artist of the Year in recognition of her outstanding commitment to arts education and is the recipient of a 2011 Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

She has performed with Washington National Opera, Baltimore’s Opera Vivente, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, Revival Theatre Company, and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a Finalist with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloists’ Competition. Her diverse roles include Francesca in Bridges of Madison County, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Lucy in The Telephone, Suor Isabella in Suor Isabella by Robert Xavier Rodriguez and Nellie Forbush in South Pacific.

Christina taught middle school music for six years at St. Andrew’s UM Day School in Edgewater, MD and has served on the voice faculties of The Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore and of The Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.