He has achieved the senior professional designations of both Chartered Manager (C.Mgr.) awarded by the Canadian Institute of Management and Fellow (FCMI) of the Chartered Management Institute (UK). Mr. Paterson is an experienced arts administrator with over 25 years of proven success in the opera business. His expertise entails all aspects of opera production including choosing repertoire, casting singers, planning the artistic season, recruiting artistic and managerial personnel, selecting scenic sets and costumes. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of the operatic repertoire and is well versed in understanding voice types as he began his professional career as a singer.
He served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Opera Lyra Ottawa (OLO) for 16 years, 1998-2014. OLO performed at the National Arts Centre with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in the pit. From 1998 to 2003, he also served as the General Director, responsible for both the artistic and business aspects of the opera company. Under his leadership, the company has experienced significant positive growth, both artistically and financially. In 2003, the company had grown to the point where it could successfully divide the administrative duties allowing Mo. Paterson the opportunity to focus mainly on the artistic leadership of the company as well as maintain a busy guest conducting schedule.
Under his tenure as General Director, OLO created a sizeable endowment fund through the Ontario Arts Council Foundation; secured the largest single donation in the history of the company; achieved five consecutive years of surplus budgets allowing the company to retire 90% of its previous accumulated deficit; made significant improvements to the overall administrative structure; increased both the numbers of subscribers and number of donors to record levels; initiated the company’s present young artist training program; the company received the 2002 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts in recognition of excellence in community and private sector support and volunteerism; and significantly increased government and foundation financial support to the company. Under his leadership, the company increased its overall operating budget by 50% and expanded its season to include an additional production at its second stage venue. Over his 16-year tenure as Artistic Director, paid attendance for the company’s productions averaged an impressive amount, just shy of 80%. His proudest achievement, however, is OLO’s new high artistic standards.
In 2008, he received an Opera America BRAVO! award for over ten years of “Dynamic Leadership” with Opera Lyra.
Prior to accepting the position with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Mr. Paterson gained invaluable experience through his long association with Calgary Opera working in a variety of positions including Artistic Administrator, Music and Production Manager, and Resident Conductor.