In January, the Wally Russell Foundation began sponsoring an internship program at the Los Angeles Opera. Lighting intern Evan M. Ritter was the first beneficiary to receive funding, totaling $3,150, from the foundation.
Ritter worked at the LA Opera from January 1 to May 15. In a position similar to that of a second assistant lighting designer, Ritter assisted productions of The Magic Flute (lit by Richard Pilbrow), Salome (LD Maidie Rosengarden), and Il Trovatore (LD Paul Pyant). He will continue as the company's Wally Foundation lighting intern through December.
Ritter has worked closely with LA Opera technical director Jeff Kleeman and head electrician Alan Miller. Reports Kleeman, "The LA Opera is very excited to be in receipt of the Wally Russell Foundation funding. It allows us the resources to get dedicated and capable lighting interns, and certainly provides for a rich learning experience for up-and-coming lighting designers and technicians which they may not get an opportunity for otherwise."
Wally Russell Foundation board members are Phil Bernard, Rusty Brutsche, David Cunningham, Tom Folsom, Fred Foster, Don Hamilton, John Howe, Larry Kellermann, Phil O'Donnell, Richard Pilbrow, Brian Russell, Glen Russell, Robert Schiller, and Jacqueline Tien. The foundation was established in 1992 in memory of lighting industry pioneer Wally Russell.