Introducing: Janaka Welihinda, Operations Director

We’re thrilled to announce that Janaka Welihinda is coming on board as Operations Director. As an alumnus twice over (Triple Bill/La Serva Padrona in 2013 and Beatrice & Benedict in 2015) and an experienced manager in the restaurant industry, Janaka is perfectly positioned to speak to the impact the company has on emerging artists from a personal standpoint in addition to working on the operational side of our season. We asked Janaka to share his story about joining MYOpera, this time on the administration side:

If you want something, go get it. Listen to your gut because people will always try to tell you what you can and can’t do. That being said, I don’t have any easy answers in this ever changing climate of the arts. What I can tell you is that if you pursue your dreams, and work very hard for them, good things will happen to you. You might not end up exactly where you’ve imagined, but you will be pleased with where you are in your journey.

My journey has taught me that I have a real passion for mentoring, teaching and working with people. I love exploring with people to unlock as much of their full potential as possible. I’ve also learned there are things you can control, and things you can’t. I strongly believe that we need to control parts of our lives, so we can relinquish control elsewhere. I can’t control where I will end up in life. Here is what I can control:

  1. Dream big and believe that you can do it
  2. Unapologetically, but politely, ask the world for what you want
  3. Try to be the hardest working person you know

Part of believing that you can do something is thinking about your new role and how you can contribute to better the team that is already established. My passion for developing and mentoring fits well with the MYOpera mandate. MYOpera gave me my first singing gig; how appropriate that they are giving me my first Arts Administration gig as well. I lay in bed thinking of being a part of MYOpera’s administrative team weeks before I sent this text to Steph Applin:

 

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Janaka’s text to Stephanie Applin

This led to Kate, Steph and I to get together for a chat. Although we all know each other and have worked together on two past MYOpera productions, I could tell we were all feeling out the situation. This job, I imagine, requires a lot of hours in close quarters, and a lot of open dialogue. All of us wanted this to be a good fit and we all left that meeting excited that this was the right way forward.
Now it’s time to dive into the work itself. You know you’re in the right place when working hard doesn’t feel like hard work. I can’t wait to get started on the 2016/17 season and I’m really looking forward to working with the new emerging artists. Hopefully, I can have a small part in helping them achieve their dreams in the same way that my mentors have shaped me. I have a very good feeling working with MYOpera will be all this and more. I can feel it in my gut.

Janaka Welihinda in MYOpera's La Serva Padrona

Kate Applin and Janaka Welihinda in La Serva Padrona as party of MYOpera’s Triple Bill (2013)

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