Goodspeed Musicals Announces New Music Director / Michael O'Flaherty Set to Retire at the end of 2019
Posted by: Mike 02:36 pm EDT 10/18/19


Longtime Head of the Department
Michael O’Flaherty to Retire at the end of 2019

Goodspeed Musicals’ Executive Director Michael Gennaro announced today that longtime Resident Music Director Michael O’Flaherty has decided to retire after leading the music department for 28 years. Joining Goodspeed to head the Music Department will be Broadway Conductor and National Tour Music Director and Associate Music Supervisor Adam Souza.

Mr. O’Flaherty stated, “the past 28 years as Resident Music Director of Goodspeed Musicals has afforded me the rare opportunity of collaborating with the very best composers, authors, actors, directors and producers in the musical theatre, while working on more than 90 musicals, old and new. I have never lost sight of how privileged I’ve been to have this experience.”

He shared, “One of my favorite aspects of the job has been the ability to mentor many young, aspiring Music Directors over the years, one of whom, Adam Souza, will be taking over as my successor, and I couldn’t be more proud. I’m also delighted to know that part of my legacy will be the annual Music Direction Intensive, or MDI, which has, over the past nine years, trained more than 120 music directors, thereby continuing Goodspeed’s long-term commitment to education and outreach in the world of musical theatre.”

“It’s hard to express how happy I’ve been at Goodspeed. Very few people get this sort of opportunity. I’ll certainly miss the work, the audiences, and the incredible staff. But now I look forward to new options and experiences - and the ability to hand off the Music Department to a new generation of artists” O’Flaherty said.

Adam Souza remembers “as a young aspiring musician, it was always my dream to make music with this organization. Goodspeed was my introduction to the idea that music and theater are truly a shared, community experience.” Souza continued, “It is a great honor to be invited back to Goodspeed Musicals to continue the legacy of Resident Music Director, Michael O’Flaherty. Michael is my dear friend and mentor, and I am forever indebted to him for his leadership, friendship and talent. During his tenure Michael collaborated with many of Musical Theatre’s greatest talents, always with respect, poise, sensitivity, and humor. It is my wish that I can bring to Goodspeed the same commitment and fervent focus that Michael has maintained for almost three decades.”

Mr. Souza shared that “as a two-time recipient of the Goodspeed Guild scholarship and a college scholarship from Michael Price and Goodspeed Musicals, I feel a deep connection and responsibility toward Goodspeed’s mission of nurturing, preserving and developing the American Musical Theatre. In coming home, I whole-heartedly invest my full spirit in our mission.”

Executive Director, Michael Gennaro expressed that “Michael has been a vital part of Goodspeed Musicals work for nearly thirty years. The artistry and quality of the musicals which are synonymous with Goodspeed are in great part thanks to the talent and vision of Mr. O’Flaherty. As much as we will all miss collaborating with him, we are heartened to know his torch will be passed to his former mentee and Goodspeed alumnus Adam Souza. We are pleased to welcome Adam in his new position as Resident Music Director and look forward to many years of harmonious collaboration.”

Mr. O’Flaherty will pass the torch following the closing of Billy Elliot The Musical in November 2019.

Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement,) Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.


Mr. Souza, a native of Killingworth, Connecticut, began his career at 17 as the music assistant at Goodspeed Musicals and attended the Boston Conservatory, majoring in musical theater. He spent his college summers continuing to train at Goodspeed, having performed in the ensembles of George M! and Brigadoon at The Goodspeed, and acting as Associate Music Director for Great Expectations and The Road To Hollywood at The Terris Theatre, as well as conducting the revival of Very Good Eddie. After four seasons and over 15 shows with Goodspeed Musicals, Adam began touring with the Broadway National Tour of Les Misérables in 2004. Continuing his road career, he then began work as Associate Conductor for the First National Tour of Monty Python’s Spamalot, later taking over as Music Director/Conductor. In early 2009, Adam conducted Wicked on Broadway, and then began his third tour, acting as Music Director/Conductor for the original company of the Second National Tour of Wicked; later working as Associate Supervisor for the North American companies of Wicked, then acting as Associate Music Supervisor for the mounting of the Spanish translation of Wicked in Mexico City and the Portuguese translation in São Paolo, Brazil. He also served as Music Director/Conductor for the original National touring company of Kinky Boots and as an arranger/conductor for The Midtown Men in Concert. Adam returned to Goodspeed's Terris Theatre as Music Director of The Great American Mousical, with Julie Andrews; Snapshots by Stephen Schwartz and The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, as well as serving as Dance Arranger for Goodspeed’s acclaimed production of Rags and Music Director/Conductor for Because of Winn Dixie, by Duncan Sheik and Nell Benjamin. He also served as Music Director for the critically acclaimed TheaterWorks Hartford production of Next To Normal. Out of the pit, Adam has taught at the Goodspeed’s Music Director’s Intensive and also serves as Associate Artistic Director for Destination Broadway, a renowned summer theater intensive in New York that brings the best of New York City’s talent to pre-professional youth. Adam is proud of his association with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and other vitally important organizations, having produced and arranged countless benefit concerts throughout North America over the past 15 years.

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