Mitisek to depart Chicago Opera Theater
In a surprising move in the middle of his most ambitious season to date, Chicago Opera Theater announced Saturday that Andreas Mitisek will leave his post as artistic director of the company at the end of this season. Mitisek had informed the board of his decision not to renew his contract at a meeting earlier in the day.
COT’s current executive director Douglas Clayton will take over as general director in September, the company said. A search will also take place to hire a part-time music director, said Clayton and COT board president Henry Fogel.
As scheduled, Mitisek will conduct the company’s final two season productions: the world premiere of Stewart Copeland’s The Invention of Morel and Philip Glass’s The Perfect American. He will also continue to have a relationship with COT in 2018 and beyond, the company said.
“After 5 wonderful years at COT, I have decided to move on at the end of my contract and pursue some artistic projects I have been dreaming about for a long time,” said Mitisek in a statement released by the company. “Since I joined COT as General Director in 2012, we have achieved a lot together. We eliminated all outstanding debt, created a cash reserve of more than $850,000 and received the largest gift in COT’s history last year. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to lead this wonderful company in a city I love, and I look forward to a continued relationship with the company.”
“As I move on to other projects, it is a great sign for COT’s organizational maturity that the company will be led by someone from within the organization,” added Mitisek. “I have worked with Doug Clayton for three years now and I know that he will be an excellent General Director of COT. He has the sensibility, thoughtfulness and capability to lead COT to new heights in the coming years.”
“Doug is a seasoned leader in the nonprofit arts world,” said Fogel in a released statement. “He brings an excellent strategic capability, an understanding of how to support artists in their work, and a commitment to engagement with the people of Chicago. He is dedicated to COT’s success and looks forward to bringing high-quality, innovative opera productions to the city in the years ahead. I would like to add a very deep expression of gratitude and admiration for Andreas, and the remarkable work he has done here. He has helped turn COT around and assure its healthy future, and provided many stimulating productions. I am glad we will continue to work with him in the future.”
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