Music with Minnesotans: Steven Lockwood

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
November 14, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Steven Lockwood wanted to sing opera.

He had all it takes: a sense of musical and dramatic timing, and a deep passion for music.

But he had one small problem — at least according to him — he could for the most part carry a tune, but he didn't really have what it took to take command of the stage.

And sadly he was even rebuffed when he wanted to become a stage director for opera.

But in this loss came a golden opportunity — to work in theatre. But Steven tells me he couldn't even balance a checkbook and finding himself as an administrator almost felt like a joke.

But no joke to Saint Paul's Park Square Theatre, where he has labored behind the scenes for decades, most recently as the company's Executive Director. Steven has doubled the annual budgets since the mid-'90s when he took over, raised theatre attendance to 60,000 per year, with ticket revenues at $1.3 million.

Truly a success story. And this fall, Steven decided it was time to retire from Park Square handing the reigns to another colleague who has also put his heart and soul into the company, Michael-jon Pease.

This life-change gives Steven more time to indulge in the thousands of records and CD's in his library — many operas — sit back and simply enjoy each play without having to concern himself too much with the details of making each one a success, and it will also allow him to occasionally be called on to help supply just the right piece of music for the shows that make each Park Square Theatre production so classy.

Steven Lockwood's playlist:

Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier: opening - Vienna/Bernstein

Charles Ives, Halloween - Ensemble Continuum

Felix Mendelssohn, Octet: Presto - Kodaly/Auer Quartets

David Del Tredici, Vintage Alice: Hymn to the Queen - Cleveland/Del Tredici

Richard Rodgers, Some Enchanted Evening - Jane Oliver

Traditional, If I Can Help Somebody - Mahalia Jackson

Next week I'll have a chance to talk with someone who listens to music all day long, Mary Lee, the Executive Director of Cantus. Mary is an award-winning producer of classical music programs including Saint Paul Sunday and she rubbed shoulders with anyone who is anyone in the biz.

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