Keith Cerny, who has made monumental changes in The Dallas Opera since he was hired as General Director and CEO seven-and-a-half years ago, has resigned, the Dallas Opera announced Friday morning.
He will take up his new appointment as General Director of the Calgary Opera in January.
Among Cerny's important contributions to Dallas: He brought notable world, U.S., regional and company premieres to the organization; he initiated the invaluable Institute for Women Conductors; hired Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement; brought the 2017 Opera America conference to Dallas; and began a series of successful and free live simulcasts of operas to AT&T Stadium, Klyde Warren Park and elsewhere. He also brought the company back from the red, initially by reducing the number of productions, and has kept the organization with a balanced budget for five consecutive seasons.
Also, for six years he has written a monthly guest column for TheaterJones, called Off the Cuff.
Below is the official announcement from the Dallas Opera. Look for more to come on TheaterJones.
After seven-and-a-half years with The Dallas Opera, Keith Cerny, The Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO, has tendered his resignation.
He has been appointed General Director and CEO of Calgary Opera, where he will assume his duties in January.
Dr. Cerny, who took the helm of The Dallas Opera in the spring of 2010, has presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets and a host of artistic projects, expansions, and technical innovations. These include a highly-successful simulcast program; regional, U.S. and world premieres; and innovative community outreach programs.
Under his leadership, TDO launched one of the very few programs for women opera conductors and administrators: The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera, and hosted the successful 2017 OPERA America Conference, extolled as one of the most productive and thought-provoking gatherings of the opera community in recent years.
His eye for talent led him to recruit both Music Director Emmanuel Villaume (currently preparing for Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera) and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement, as well as a team of highly-skilled senior staff members.
“Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy,” notes Dallas Opera Board Chair Holly Mayer. “We wish him every success with his new responsibilities as we turn our efforts to maintaining this company’s impressive forward momentum and strengthening the collaborations with other arts organizations that have marked Keith’s tenure here in Dallas.”
The search for Cerny’s successor will begin immediately.