William A. Blodgett Jr., president of Kentucky Opera’s board of directors, has announced the appointment of Ian Derrer as the opera’s new general director. Derrer will be the fifth general director in the company’s 65-year history. He succeeds David Roth, who was the general director of the Kentucky Opera from 2006 until July 2015, when he died unexpectedly.
“Ian Derrer’s appointment marks the successful conclusion of a national search to identify the leader whose vision, creativity and knowledge will best guide the future development of Kentucky Opera,” Blodgett said in the announcement released by the opera.
He continued: “Derrer brings a deep passion for sharing opera with audiences and significant experience working with some of the leading American opera companies. We are thrilled to welcome him to Kentucky Opera.”
Here’s what you need to know about Derrer before he officially takes his position Sept. 1.
Derrer Is An Opera-World Triple Threat
He’s well-known for his wide-ranging background as a performer, stage director and administrator. Derrer will be coming to the Kentucky Opera from his position as artistic administrator at the Dallas Opera. Before that, he held a variety of positions all across the nation.
He served as rehearsal and music coordinator for the New York City Opera, held multiple positions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, including head of the rehearsal department, rehearsal administrator and director of production, while also making time to serve as rehearsal director for the Santa Fe Opera during the summer of 2012. Derrer was also the scheduling coordinator for the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy.
He Has Been Passionate About Opera Since Childhood
Derrer’s introduction to opera began in the children’s chorus of Charlotte Opera, now Opera Carolina. It was an immediate connection and a passion that grew as he pursued his bachelor of music degree in Voice Performance from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He went on to complete his masters degrees in Opera Production, Voice and Performing Arts Management from Northwestern University and Brooklyn College.
Derrer Says He’s Coming To Louisville At The Right Time
Derrer says that he looks forward to becoming part of the Louisville community and building on Kentucky Opera’s rich tradition of bringing the form to audiences throughout the region.
“This is a time of great opportunity and creativity for opera in America,” he said. “Kentucky Opera is uniquely positioned to focus that national momentum within a dynamic community that values and supports all the arts. I am honored and excited to accept this appointment.”