15 December 2017
THE DALLAS OPERA announced today that Keith Cerny, the company's general director of nearly eight years, has resigned and will take up the reigns as Calgary Opera's new general director and CEO beginning in January.
The abrupt news of Cerny's resignation came as something of a surprise in an industry in which leadership transitions are frequently planned far in advance and often scheduled to minimize disruptions during a company's season.
Michael Brown, chair of the Calgary Opera board of directors, said that the company undertook what he characterized as an "exhaustive international search" in an effort to find "the right candidate to take Calgary Opera to next level of growth. […] We believe we have found the perfect candidate in Keith, given his wealth of experience from an artistic, business and operational standpoint." Dallas Opera announced that it will begin searching for Cerny’s successor immediately.
“Keith has every reason to be proud of his legacy,” Dallas Opera board chair Holly Mayer said in a statement issued today by the company. “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.”
Cerny's tenure in Dallas began in the Spring of 2010 and has been notable for both its artistic innovation and its fiscal stability. He has presided over five consecutive balanced operating budgets as well as the world premieres of several works, including Jake Heggie's adaptation of Moby-Dick in April 2010; Joby Talbot's Everest in January 2015, Heggie's Great Scott in October 2015; and Mark Adamo's Becoming Santa Claus in December 2015. Cerny also oversaw the creation of the company's simulcast initiative and the inauguration of the company's Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors, one of the few programs of its kind in the United States. Cerny's time in office also saw the appointment of Emmanuel Villaume as Dallas Opera's music director and Nicole Paiement as Dallas Opera's principal guest conductor.
Prior to joining Dallas Opera, Cerny served for three years as executive director and CFO of San Francisco Opera and subsequently became CEO of Sheet Music Plus, the world's largest interest-based sheet-music company. He holds B.A. degrees with highest honors in both Music and Physics from the University of California at Berkeley; following graduation, he spent four years in London, where he studied opera-accompanying in English National Opera's répétiteur training course and pursued postgraduate studies in conducting, accompanying and voice at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Cerny also earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, as well as a Ph.D. in Economic Development Studies/Econometrics from the Open University in the U.K. He spent six years with McKinsey & Company, where he rose to the position of Senior Engagement Manager, and seven years with consulting firm Accenture.
More information can be found at Dallas Opera.
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