Sarasota Opera Director Susan Danis appointed CEO of Florida Grand Opera

wtatangelo@bradenton.comSeptember 5, 2012 

SARASOTA -- Susan Danis, longtime executive director of the Sarasota Opera, has been appointed general director and chief executive officer of Florida Grand Opera.

Florida Grand Opera is a level one opera company in Miami with an operating budget of more than $10 million.

Danis will continue her duties as executive director in Sarasota through Sept. 28 and assume her role at Florida Grand Opera Oct. 1.

"Susan has been executive director of the Sarasota Opera for almost 15 years," said Donald Worthington, chairman of the board at the Sarasota Opera, in a statement.

"During her tenure, our opera company has grown dramatically and prospered. Among her most significant achievements was the successful project to renovate our historic theater.

"She directed a capital campaign that raised over $20 million for the award winning project, and supervised the design and reconstruction of the theater. She will be missed," Worthington said.

Maestro Victor DeRenzi, who just celebrated his 30th anniversary as artistic director of Sarasota Opera, also expressed his sense of loss at Danis' new appointment.

"Susan has made important contributions to our company for many years," DeRenzi said in a statement. "Her creativity and high energy level have been important to our success."

Danis praised her colleagues and the community.

"During the past 14 years, I have had the honor of serving Sarasota Opera as its executive director," said Danis in a statement.

"From the day I arrived in Sarasota, I have felt the warmth and support of a group of patrons and trustees that rivals any of the many other places I have lived.

"I particularly want to thank artistic director Victor DeRenzi. The vision he has developed for this company created an excitement I was able to build upon. He truly is a maestro in every sense of the word. With such a winning combination, I leave with every confidence that Sarasota Opera has a bright future ahead."

Worthington noted that the planning for this year's season is well underway beginning with a fall production of "Rigoletto" opening Oct. 26.

"It is an honor to Sarasota Opera that Susan has been offered this prestigious position but the show must go on," he said in a statement.

"Our outstanding administrative and production staffs will continue to pursue the projects currently underway, and the human resources committee of the board will begin a search for a successor immediately."

Wade Tatangelo, features writer and columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow him on Twitter@wtatangelo.

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