Chicago Opera Theater picks new general director

December 7, 2011

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Photo courtesy of Chicago Opera Theater
The Chicago Opera Theater has picked Andreas Mitisek as its new general director.

The Chicago Opera Theater has selected a new general director.

Andreas Mitisek will replace the current director, Brian Dickie, who brought international attention to the city's second opera company.

"For me, opera is an acronym for out of the box, provocative, engaging, relevant and adventurous," Mitisek said. "We need to create experiences that are relevant to our lives, and I hope we have our audiences walk out of the performance talking about what they just experienced and not talking about what are we going to have for dinner."

“We chose Andreas to be the next General Director due to his original and unique artistic vision which builds upon the incredibly high standard set by Brian (Dickie),” COT Board President Gregory O’Leary said in a statement.  “The Search Committee, as well as the Board and I, are extremely enthusiastic about the future of the company under Andreas’ direction.”

“Andreas has done interesting work at Long Beach Opera which mirrors in many respects the character of COT,” said Dickie, the current general director. “Andreas is ideally equipped to take Chicago Opera Theater forward in the challenging circumstances that many performing arts companies face in these difficult times.”

Mitisek will continue in his role as artistic and general director at Long Beach Opera. With that company, Mitisek has staged operas in a swimming pool and a parking garage. He's also helped triple the budget and increase subscriptions by 500 percent.

He hopes to bring daring staging and similar growth to Chicago, and to form an alliance with Long Beach Opera that could result in commissioned operas. Mitisek also hopes to create new partnerships with arts organizations in Chicago.

Mitisek signed a five-year contract with the Chicago Opera Theater.

He'll become the general director designate Jan. 1. When Dickie leaves, Mitisek will become general director in September.

Dickie plans to return home to England.

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