Lyric Opera of Chicago Announces Promotions for Senior Staff


Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, today announced promotions for two senior staff members.

Drew Landmesser, Lyric's production and technical director, will become the company's deputy general director. Brent Fisher, controller for Lyric, will take over as director of finance. Both appointments become effective January 1, 2013, and are being instituted as a result of the retirement of Richard Dowsek, Lyric's director of administration and finance, as well as expanded activities inherent in Lyric’s future plans.

"Richard Dowsek, Lyric's esteemed director of finance and administration for the past 32 years, informed me several months ago of his plan to retire at the end of December, 2012,” Freud stated. "In light of this, Board president Ken Pigott and I have considered and investigated several options for our future administrative structure. We believe that the best way forward for Lyric is to promote from within with forward-thinking personnel who are clearly at the top of their fields within our industry, and also know Lyric Opera intimately.

"In this regard, I am pleased to announce that Drew Landmesser, currently Lyric's production and technical director, is being promoted to the post of deputy general director. All departments now supervised by Rich Dowsek will report to Drew, as well as Production and Technical, which Landmesser currently heads.”

Freud commented that Drew Landmesser is uniquely qualified for his new role at Lyric, having held senior positions at Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. At Lyric Opera, he currently supervises a budget of some $15 million. At both Lyric and San Francisco Opera, he has had a leadership role in working with the various unions, personnel from which make up more than 70 percent of an opera company's work force.

"Opera companies everywhere are facing more complex challenges than ever before," Freud stated. "We are a 400-year-old art form that must utilize the digital tools of today's marketplace to engage new audiences, both at home and worldwide. And we must ensure that our opera house is technically equipped to give our public 21st-century presentations that thrill and engage, yet do so in a fiscally responsible manner. Drew's background and skill set are ideally suited to achieve these goals."