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Opera Orlando Announces Expansion of Staff and Infrastructure


Emily DeNardo joins the organization as company manager, and Tyler Thomas will be the Company’s technical director.

Opera Orlando Announces Expansion of Staff and Infrastructure

As Opera Orlando prepares for its sixth full season and its move into Steinmetz Hall, the Company has expanded and reorganized its staff and infrastructure to continue its growth as an organization. Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, Opera Orlando once again finished the fiscal year in the black while expanding its annual revenue by over $200,000 from the previous season. Much of this increase was due to a successful, first-time Collaborative Campaign with United Arts of Central Florida. led by Opera Orlando's new development director, Russell P. Allen, who joined the organization in October 2020 as the chief fundraising officer for the Company.

In addition to its solid financial performance, the 2020-21 season also brought artistic success and national and international acclaim to the Company, with reviews in Opera News (NY) and Opera Magazine (UK). Opera Orlando also participated for the first time in Opera America's New Works Forum to present highlights of the Company's first commissioned work, The Secret River. This attention to and recognition of the Company are most certainly tied to the recent shift in titles and responsibilities of two of the company's key staff positions. Gabriel Preisser, previously artistic and executive director, has shifted to the role of general director for Opera Orlando, with a more direct focus on administrative responsibilities and long-term sustainability of the organization, and Grant Preisser, formerly creative director, has taken on the role of artistic director, cultivating the Company's brand identity and ensuring the quality of productions.

Furthermore, over the past season Opera Orlando has partnered with Orlando Ballet, Creative City Project, and Mad Cow Theatre to establish a shared shop and warehouse space for all four organizations to store and build sets and props. Also, the Opera has expanded its office space downtown to provide shared costume storage, laundry facilities, and props storage for both itself and Orlando Ballet.

For the 2021-22 season, Opera Orlando is adding two new roles to its staff, Emily DeNardo joins the organization as company manager, and Tyler Thomas will be the Company's technical director. Beatriz Ramirez, who has been with the company for five years, is transitioning to the new position of patron services manager, and Janessa Gursky has recently joined the staff as social media manager and graphic designer. Other staff positions include Carol Stuckey as financial controller, Robin Jensen as Opera Orlando Youth Company director, and Sarah Purser as community engagement coordinator, overseeing the Company's in-school programs, SINGS!, and the studio artist program. The Company is currently conducting a search for a marketing director and education director.

"I want to thank the Central Florida community for its support ofa?? Opera Orlando over the past five years," says general director Gabriel Preisser. "We would not have experienced the growth that we have had without it. A big thanks to the City of Orlando and Orange County, and all of our wonderful donors, patrons, and community members who have helped Opera Orlando grow from a $250,000 annual budget to a $1.5 million annual budget while staying in the black and increasing the Company's cash reserves. This steady climb over the past five years has been strategic in preparation for a full season in Steinmetz Hall at Dr. Phillips Center, which will open this season. Looking forward to seeing you ALL at the Opera."

VIVA VERDI! | 2020-21 Season overview:


La Traviata at Walt Disney Theater

Friday | October 29, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday | October 31, 2021 at 2 p.m.


The Secret River at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater

Friday | December 19, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | December 20, 2021 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday | December 21, 2021 at 2 p.m.


King for a Day at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios Orlando

Friday | March 4, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 2 p.m.


Rigoletto at Steinmetz Hall

Friday | April 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday | April 24, 2022 at 2 p.m.


Lizbeth at Harriett's Orlando Ballet Centre

Friday | May 20, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday | May 22, 2022 at 2 p.m.

Keeping safety as its first priority in the presentation of its 2021-22 season, Opera Orlando continues to monitor the development of COVID-19 and the vaccination plans relating to the virus. The Company has remained in consultation with its health partners and venues to implement an appropriate and comprehensive plan centered on the protection and reduction of the risk of infection for audience members, cast and production teams, staff, and volunteers.

Stay up to date with Opera Orlando's upcoming season and planning online at Season ticket subscriptions for Opera Orlando on the MainStage are on sale now. Subscriptions are sold through the Dr. Phillips Center's Bill & Mary Darden Box Office (445 S. Magnolia Avenue, Orlando), online at, or by calling (407) 839-0119, ext. 0.

Season ticket packages are also available for Opera Orlando on the Town. Call (407) 512-1900 or visit for "On the Town" subscriptions. See YOU at the Opera!

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