The Lyric Opera of Kansas City Board President, Richard P. Bruening, announced today the appointment of Deborah Sandler as the Company's new General Director, effective July 1, 2012. Ms. Sandler signed a five-year contract with the Lyric Opera.
Ms. Sandler will assume the role of General Director as Evan Luskin, who served the Company for 26 years – 14 of them as General Director – retires on June 30.
"Deborah joins the Lyric Opera at an important time in our Company's evolution," notes Mr. Bruening. "She will build upon the successes we have enjoyed during the first season performing in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, will expand our robust educational offerings to reach more Kansas Citians, and will continue the Company's tradition of responsible fiscal leadership as we complete the capital campaign for our Opera Center complex."
"Deborah was the standout choice," notes Joyce G. Holland, chair of the search committee. "She has a deep understanding of how opera companies operate, and immediately will be able to guide the Company forward as it continues to produce work of the highest artistic caliber. Her strengths in strategic planning, organizational alignment, and fundraising made her the unanimous choice of the committee."
"Lyric Opera of Kansas City is a remarkable company," said Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO of OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. "Performing in the magnificent new Kauffman Center and preparing to move into a new Opera Center, the company is poised to advance its role as an important local cultural resource and enhance its national stature. The appointment of Deborah Sandler as the next General Director is very exciting. She has a bold vision for opera and tremendous experience that will leverage these opportunities for real and lasting growth."