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Virginia Opera Announces New General Director and CEO

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Kriha Dye officially step sinto the role, succeeding retiring current Virginia Opera President and CEO, Russell P. Allen, on October 18, 2020.

Virginia Opera Announces New General Director and CEO

Today, the Statewide Board of Directors of Virginia Opera, The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is very pleased to announce the appointment of Peggy Kriha Dye as the organization's new General Director and CEO. Kriha Dye officially step sinto the role, succeeding retiring current Virginia Opera President and CEO, Russell P. Allen, on October 18, 2020. The appointment comes after a months-long national search process.

Paul Winslow, chairman of the Opera's Statewide Board of Directors said, "We are extremely excited to welcome Peggy to our Virginia Opera family, my fellow board members and I are confident her vision will launch our organization into what will be a new, innovative era as we approach our 50th anniversary in the 2024-2025 Season. We believe Peggy to be the right person not only to maintain our high artistic standards, but also to successfully attract new audiences to our beloved musical form."

A native of Minnesota, Peggy Kriha Dye received her BA in Music Education from Saint Cloud State University (MN) and pursued her graduate studies at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard Opera Center. As a soprano, she performed on more than 100 stages in over 40 productions throughout the world from 1992-2017, originating the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, written and conducted by André Previn at the San Francisco Opera, and reprising the role with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington National Opera. Her other significant roles include Musetta in La Bohème with the San Francisco Opera and Shanghai Opera House, among others. Her final performances were in the title role of Medea in Toronto and Versailles (2017).

In 2011, Kriha Dye turned her focus to her administrative career at Opera Columbus (OC), a company with whom she served successfully for nearly a decade, beginning as Director of Education and Community Programming (2011-2014), Artistic Director (2014-2017), and, finally, General and Artistic Director + CEO (2017-2020). Under her leadership, OC has become renowned for skillfully and sensitively combining visionary new artistic programming and commissioned works-2018-2019 saw the world premiere of The Flood, OC's first new work in nearly 20 years and winner of the Greater Columbus Arts Council's Excellence Award-with traditional operatic ones. Under her leadership, OC continually achieved balanced budgets and operating surpluses, expanded fundraising opportunities, and fostered critically lauded community and creative partnerships at national and international levels.

In addition to her former organizational oversight of Opera Columbus, Kriha Dye continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of Opera America, is involved in the Women's Opera Network and is past recipient of such accolades as Musical America's 2018 Professionals of the Year/"Movers and Shakers" Edition award.

Of her appointment as General Director and CEO of Virginia Opera, Kriha Dye said: "It is an honor to be chosen to lead the Virginia Opera in the next exciting chapter of its statewide history. I am humbled and excited to join its valuable leadership, staff, artists and creative partners and Artistic Director, Maestro Adam Turner, as we collectively look toward the Virginia Opera's 50th Anniversary Season. To be certain, as the challenges for the performing arts we love and hold so close continue in the months ahead, it is with equal certainty that I know we will meet and prevail in those challenges. Together, we will continue to joyfully build a stronger, inclusive, diverse, and successful Virginia Opera. Our best moments are yet ahead. I look forward to beginning the journey in October."

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