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Updated: October 2, 2023 / 2023 NextUp: 40 Under 40 Honorees

40 Under 40: As a singer and a founder, Lauren Yokabaskas helps new voices be heard

Photo / Tim Greenway Lauren Yokabaskas is general director and co-founder of Opera in the Pines.
Lauren Yokabaskas, 34  General director and co-founder, Opera in the Pines Find profiles of all the 40 Under 40 honorees here.
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Significant professional accomplishment: Co-founding Opera in the Pines, an alternative opera company committed to reinventing the opera experience in Maine, and finding a way forward during the pandemic, which included a career shift from singing professionally. With my partners, I realized we could contribute something special to the community by creating opportunities for local artists, in site-specific productions, with our audience front of mind.

That’s the kind I would have loved access to as a young singer. I’m incredibly proud we are planning our third season and have gained national recognition for our work here “in the pines.” Our production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” is a finalist for the American Prize in Opera Performance, and I recently represented the company onstage in the closing session of the OPERA America Conference in Pittsburgh.

Passion project: In the arts, I’m lucky since most of the time my job and my passion projects are one and the same. But when I have a moment, I love learning new skills that increase my understanding of what goes on backstage and could be valuable in the future. Next up, I’m taking a sewing class!

Audacious goal: To mount a production in each of the 16 counties in the state of Maine.

Favorite quote: “How wonderful is it that no one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank

Influential book: “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho

Favorite TV shows or movies: Favorite movies — “Auntie Mame,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “La La Land.” Favorite TV show — “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

How do you recharge: Walks around my hometown of Cape Elizabeth, a day at the beach, a good book, or trying a new recipe. I’m currently baking my way through “Sweet Enough” by Alison Roman.

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