Friday, May 30, 2014

Lyric Opera Of Chicago's William Mason Steps Into San Diego Role

"The former general director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, one of the premiere opera companies in the country, will serve as a temporary artistic adviser at San Diego Opera for the next six months. William Mason came out of a well-earned retirement — he spent more than 50 years in the opera business — to guide the troubled opera company towards stability. 'I’ve had such a wonderful career in opera, it was a chance to give something back,' Mason said. Mason says he was interested in the gig because it was not just about helping on the artistic side, despite the title. He says he realized the company needed someone with general director experience as well. In addition to helping flesh out the 2015 season, the opera’s 50th anniversary, and offer direction on the operas already booked for 2016, Mason will advise the board on how to govern the newly organized company and weigh in on financials and fundraising until a new general director is appointed. That person, says Mason, needs to have a fresh outlook. 'They need somebody new,' Mason explained. 'I’m 72 years old. I have no new ideas, and I’m not trying to formulate any.' His old ideas worked well for the Lyric, which remained in the black throughout Mason’s tenure, without sacrificing quality, says Marc Scorca, president of Opera America, a national umbrella organization. Scorca says Mason’s vast experience and popularity in the opera world will send a message internally and to the outside world that the ship has been righted. 'I think Bill will not only provide continuity in many ways but he’ll also provide a different leadership style that will win new friends for San Diego Opera,' said Scorca." [Source]

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