Wally, among other activities, was the first technical director of the Los Angeles Opera, a position he held until his death.
Discussions with the Opera on how to best celebrate Wally’s memory led to the establishment of the Wally Russell Lighting Internship. The Foundation has underwritten a significant portion of the costs of this position since its inception in 1998.
This intern benefits from the opportunity to assist some of the world’s most prominent lighting designers on some of the greatest Opera productions presented in North America. Additionally, at the end of their internship, the Intern is eligible to apply for membership in the United Scenic Artists Union, which can greatly assist their future activities. To date, all of the recepients have gone on to successful careers in the industry.
Jeff Kleeman, Technical Director for the Los Angeles Opera, states, “We are very grateful for the continued support by the Wally Foundation. Among the many amazing things that Wally did in his life, being the first Technical Director of the then infant Los Angeles Opera was among his proudest. His style and innovation continues long past his premature departure. We are proud and happy to continue this very important internship in his name.”