Photo by Steve Cisneros

Kentucky Opera announces the appointment of Ian Derrer as our new General Director.  We will welcome him to the Metro Louisville community on September 1, 2016.

Ian joins us from Dallas Opera, where he has spent the past two years as Artistic Administrator and a member of the Senior Management Team. His love of opera began as a member of the children’s chorus in Tosca for Charlotte Opera, now Opera Carolina. Ian completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. An internship with Dallas Opera in his final years of college brought him to Santa Fe Opera as Production Assistant in 1996. He also worked as a freelance Assistant Director and Stage Manager for Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Carolina, Opera Pacific, and Washington Opera, learning opera production from the ground up.

Ian completed a Masters Degrees in Opera Production, Voice, and Performing Arts Management from Northwestern University and Brooklyn College. During the summers of 2001-2003 he was Scheduling Coordinator for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. In the spring of 2004, he interned at Columbia Artists Management, Inc. in the office of Ronald A. Wilford. That summer he was orchestra manager for Sinfonia Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

“I look forward to becoming part of the Metro Louisville community and to building upon Kentucky Opera’s rich tradition of bringing opera to audiences throughout the state of Kentucky and the region,” Derrer said. “This is a time of great opportunity and creativity for opera in America. Kentucky Opera is uniquely positioned to focus that national momentum within a dynamic community that values and supports all the arts.”

Ian joined the staff of New York City Opera in 2004 as rehearsal and music coordinator. Two years later, he moved to Lyric Opera of Chicago, starting as rehearsal administrator and moving up to Director of Production and head of the rehearsal department. He spent eight seasons at Lyric Opera of Chicago, with one summer as Rehearsal Director for Santa Fe Opera.

As artistic administrator of Dallas Opera, Ian oversees budgets for the orchestra, chorus, and principal artists as well as members of the artistic staff, orchestra librarian, orchestra manager, chorus secretary, and scheduling department. He consults regularly about matters involving company management, payroll, and production; he works directly with AGMA and the AFM as the point person for issues pertinent to their collective bargaining agreements.

His experience with major companies in Dallas, Chicago, Santa Fe, and New York has also given Ian an opportunity to learn from some of the leading general directors in the field about fundraising, audience development, branding, and engaging fully with the community. He has developed a unique perspective in fundraising, learning why people give to opera and how to articulate the needs of the company to potential individual and institutional donors.

Speaking to the press, William A. Blodgett Jr., President of Kentucky Opera’s Board of Directors said, “Ian brings a deep passion for sharing opera with audiences, and significant experience working with some of the leading American opera companies. We’re thrilled to welcome him to Kentucky Opera.”

Ian will be the fifth General Director of Kentucky Opera.  He succeeds the late David Roth, who served as General Director of Kentucky Opera from 2006 until July 2015, when he passed away unexpectedly.