David Devan - General Director
David B. Devan was appointed as General Director of Opera Philadelphia in 2011. He joined the company in January 2006 following an extensive North American search to identify a managing director to oversee all income-generating departments as well as board development and community programs. In 2009, he was appointed as Executive Director before assuming his current leadership role.
Since his arrival, Mr. Devan has worked closely with board and administration on strategic planning initiatives and building partnerships within the community and the opera world. Key achievements include the establishment of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, an extremely popular and highly-subscribed opera series at the Kimmel Center's intimate 550-seat Perelman Theater that showcases appropriately scaled work, now in its fourth season; and the establishment of the nation's first ever collaborative Composer In Residence Program with New York partners Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, a comprehensive program funded by a $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, designed to foster the growth of tomorrow's great operatic composers. Under his leadership, the Opera has co-commissioned three new works, Dark Sisters, by Nico Muhly and Stephen Karam, co-commissioned with Opera Philadelphia's Composer In Residence partners; Oscar, based on the life of Oscar Wilde and written by Theodore Morrison and John Cox, co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera; and Cold Mountain, based on the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier and written by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, also co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera. The Opera has also achieved a balanced financial position and received a major grant in 2011 from The Kresge Foundation to help beginning to fund institutional capitalization.
Mr. Devan came to Philadelphia from Pacific Opera Victoria, where he held the position of Executive Director from 1997 through 2005. During his tenure at Pacific Opera Victoria the company's budget increased by 150%. His accomplishments include maintaining accumulated surpluses and increasing the company's annual giving more than threefold; establishing a successful endowment campaign strategy; and achieving strong subscription sales while pursuing an artistically-innovating program.
Prior to his work with Pacific Opera Victoria, Mr. Devan spent four years as the Director of Marketing and Development for Opera Ontario; worked as the Performing Arts Marketing Head for the Harbourfront Centre; and served for three seasons as Marketing Director for the Canadian Opera Company. He has served on the Board of Directors for Opera America and as Chairman of the Board for Opera CA (Canada), the national associations for opera companies. He has also previously held leadership positions with the Pro Art Alliance of Greater Victoria, and Arts Action BC, two groups focused on advocacy and government funding for the arts. A native of Canada, Mr. Devan attended Brock University in Ontario and Stanford University's Graduate School of Business Executive Program.
As Chair of the Board of Directors for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and for Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, Mr. Devan shares, "Since my arrival in Philadelphia, I have felt privileged to serve an arts institution with such a strong, vibrant constituency, in a city with rich and diverse cultural roots. We look forward to our continued success in maintaining opera as an important part of our community.”