Ian Derrer is the leading candidate to become Lyric Opera general director

Wed Apr 03, 2024 at 11:02 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Ian Derrer is general director and CEO of Dallas Opera.

Ian Derrer, the current CEO of Dallas Opera, is the leading candidate to become the next general director of Lyric Opera, according to business sources.

Derrer, a Rockford native and Northwestern University alumnus, is a Lyric Opera veteran, having worked for eight years in various roles, rising to director of production and rehearsal.

A Lyric Opera spokesman declined to comment on successors to the exiting Anthony Freud, and Derrer did not return email inquiries about his potential Chicago hiring.

As CEO and general director for the past six seasons, Derrer, 48, has built Dallas Opera, a sturdy regional company, into something a cut above. His ambitious programming has included the company’s first-ever staging of Wagner’s Das Rheingold in 2023 and the acclaimed world premiere of Joby Talbot’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly last fall. Other productions this season have been well received including Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Strauss’s Elektra (in the Lyric Opera staging).

In his eight years with Lyric, Derrer rose from rehearsal administrator to serve as director of production and head of the rehearsal department. He departed Lyric in 2014 to become artistic administrator for the Dallas Opera, rising to the top post in 2018.

Derrer has a degree in voice performance from Southern Methodist University, and earned additional degrees in opera production and performing arts management from Northwestern University and Brooklyn College.

He has logged time as a singer, assistant stage manager, stage manager, and director in several regional and national companies including Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Pacific, and New York City Opera.

Posted in News

3 Responses to “Ian Derrer is the leading candidate to become Lyric Opera general director”

  1. Posted Apr 04, 2024 at 6:11 pm by Michael

    Sounds like an excellent choice!

  2. Posted Apr 05, 2024 at 6:59 am by Randy Wilson

    As a recent transplant from Dallas to Chicago, I can vouch that the Dallas Opera has been very much on the upswing these last few years. I traveled back to D in February to attend Elektra with a group of friends and found the concert packed to the rafters with excited attendees. The show itself was all you could ask for.

    If Mr Derrer can bring that kind of buzz and artistic quality back to Chicago with him, I’m in full support.

  3. Posted Apr 05, 2024 at 10:53 am by Kim

    Hopefully there are still others in the race. While he has undoubtably done good in Dallas, there is always another side to the “success” and it’s not hard to find if you take a closer look.

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