Ian Derrer Appointed as New Artistic Administrator of Dallas Opera

Ian Derrer Appointed as New Artistic Administrator of Dallas Opera

DALLAS, JUNE 25, 2014 - In the wake of Jonathan Pell's decision to step down after thirty years of distinguished service to The Dallas Opera, General Director & CEO Keith Cerny is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Artistic Administrator, Ian Derrer.

Working closely with Dr. Cerny and Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, the Artistic Administrator will be responsible for supporting the planning and implementation of the company's programming for future seasons. Going forward, the leadership team will also include Director of Production John Toia and Technical Director Drew Field. To ensure continuity, as previously announced, Mr. Pell will continue to serve as Artistic Advisor to the company until the end of the 2016-2017 Season.

Following a comprehensive international search-which attracted nearly fifty highly qualified applicants from the U.S., U.K., Continental Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Australia-General Director & CEO Keith Cerny has appointed Mr.Derrer to this newly created position. Mr. Derrer joins TDO from the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Mr. Derrer grew up in North Carolina and, in 1996, completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. He then worked as a freelance Assistant Director and Stage Manager for Santa Fe Opera, The Atlanta Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Pacific, and Washington Opera. From 1999-2005 he completed Masters Degrees in Opera Production, Voice, and Performing Arts Management from Northwestern University and Brooklyn College. During the summers of 2001-2003 he was also the Scheduling Coordinator for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. Afterwards, he served as Rehearsal & Music Coordinator for the New York City Opera (2004-2006). Mr. Derrer also has invaluable experience in the field of orchestra and artist management. Immediately prior to joining the Dallas Opera, Ian held multiple positions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (2006-2014), including Head of the Rehearsal Department, Rehearsal Administrator, and Director of Production, while, also, making time to serve as Rehearsal Director for Santa Fe Opera during the summer of 2012.

Regarding the selection of Mr. Derrer, General Director & CEO Keith Cerny noted: "In the midst of a superb group of candidates, Ian really stood out. I am delighted to add him to my senior artistic team. Ian is well-known in the opera world for his wide-ranging background as a performer, stage director and administrator, as well as being equally renowned for his superb teamwork and leadership skills. With this exciting appointment, I am pleased to have completed my artistic leadership team."

TDO's Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume, commented, "I have known Ian for nearly ten years, and have worked with him both at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera. I have been consistently impressed with his ability to manage complex situations with diplomacy and tact; and I have developed great admiration for his knowledge of singers and their craft. I very much look forward to working with Ian in his new role."

Mr. Derrer begins work on a part-time basis immediately and will assume a full-time position on the Dallas Opera Senior Staff, as of mid-August.

About the Dallas Opera:

More than half-a-century of artistic excellence, technical innovation and community engagement have enabled The Dallas Opera to make a major contribution to the international cultural reputation of Dallas and add significantly to the economic impact of the performing arts across North Texas. The Dallas Opera has presented a host of international stars in their American debuts, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Jon Vickers, and Plácido Domingo, as well as designer-director Franco Zeffirelli. A champion of new work, The Dallas Opera has presented the American premieres of five operas and additional world premieres. Most recently, the company commissioned composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer to create a tremendously successful new opera based on Herman Melville's 19th century novel "Moby-Dick," as well as forthcoming new operas by British composer Joby Talbot ("Everest"), Heggie and Terrence McNally ("Great Scott"), and American composer Mark Adamo, all slated to take center stage in 2015. The Dallas Opera has pioneered classical music simulcasts in North Texas at locations ranging from Klyde Warren Park to AT&T (formerly Cowboys) Stadium and continues to seek new ways to engage the entire community and bring the thrill of opera to people of all ages, educational levels and backgrounds.

Photo Credit: Steve Cisneros Garcia