After Months of Uncertainty, Portland Opera Has Named a New General Director

Sue Dixon, who has helmed the opera as interim general director since longtime leader Christopher Mattaliano's departure, will officially take up the position.

(Courtesy of Portland Opera)

It's been a turbulent year for Portland Opera.

In July, the company's general director for more than a decade, Christopher Mattaliano, stepped down. Since then, the company has been vague about plans to find a permanent replacement, while also attempting to recover from a severe deficit.

Related: Following the Departure of Its Director, Portland Opera Is Attempting to Engage With Modern Audiences—While Also Recovering From Financial Disarray

But last week, the company announced that Sue Dixon, who has been acting general director since Mattaliano's departure, will officially take on the job.

"I know, firsthand, what it takes to achieve strategic organizational growth," Dixon said in a press release. "My passion is for connecting people with excellent and meaningful artistic and cultural experiences, and that comes with a commitment to community."

IMAGE: Gia Goodrich.

Dixon was instrumental in developing the opera's new strategic plan, which includes increasing community outreach, reverting the company back to a summer schedule and staging shows at a wider variety of venues.

But Dixon's appointment is not the only leadership transition the opera has announced within the last few weeks.

Earlier this month, Portland Opera announced that it has hired Palm Beach Opera's former general director Daniel Biaggi as its first artistic director—previously, the organization was helmed by a general and executive director. Biaggi is taking up the newly created role only in the interim, and the opera has not yet announced when it will begin its search for a permanent artistic director.

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