Opera trims CEO hunt from 60 names to 4
By Lauren Redding
The international search for the Florida Grand Opera's next CEO is nearly complete, now that the search committee has interviewed all four final candidates and is preparing to name its selection.
The opera has been searching for a new general manager and CEO since January, when former leader Robert Heuer announced his retirement. With the help of Toronto-based search firm Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates, the search committee narrowed its top candidates from a pool of nearly 60. Monday, the committee interviewed its last candidate.
William Hill, Florida Grand Opera board of directors member and search committee chair, said he expects a new CEO to be chosen in the coming weeks and running the opera by October.
"We are on track, as we had planned, to have a candidate in place in advance of opening season on Nov. 17," he said. "We're very excited at the reality of bringing in a new general director."
Although Mr. Hill declined to name the top candidates, he said all are opera industry executives. The committee wanted a candidate who is "highly versed in the art of opera" and not just a general arts manager, Mr. Hill said.
The committee, he said, looked for a candidate with a fiscally responsible track record in business management and success in fundraising. It was also important to find a person with a strong presence, Mr. Hill said, as he or she will serve as the opera's chief spokesperson.
Mr. Hill said the new CEO's biggest challenge will be transforming the Florida Grand Opera into a 21st century company that will make opera relevant to the community again.
"As a producer of first-rate opera, we need to transform our product," he said. "We need to reach out to a new and more diversified donor base. We need to leverage what we have, which is a tremendous history of producing great opera."
The company was formed in June 1994 after merging the Greater Miami Opera, founded in 1941, and The Opera Guild Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, founded in 1945. Mr. Heuer, who officially retired in May, led the company for 28 years.
While the search process has been underway, Director of Production Kevin Mynatt has overseen daily operations as interim managing director. The opera's 2012-2013 season kicks off Nov. 17 with opening night of La bohéme at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.