Opera Company of Philadelphia Announces Appointment of Daniel K. Meyer as Chairman-Elect of the Board of Directors
Will Succeed Current Chairman Stephen Madva in September 2012;
Company Launches $10M Campaign in Support of New Strategic Plan This Month
For Immediate Release: April 5, 2012
Contact: Tracy C. Galligher
Philadelphia, PA: The Opera Company of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Daniel K. Meyer as Chairman-Elect. Elected at the March meeting of the Board of Directors, Meyer has been involved with the Opera Company for over a decade and provided major philanthropic support for the 2008 launch of the groundbreaking Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater. He joined the Board of Directors in 2010.
“I feel privileged to be chosen to lead this engaged, diligent Board of Directors at a time when our current Board Chair, Stephen Madva, has ushered us through a remarkable turnaround,” Meyer shared. “Steve has led the Opera Company of Philadelphia for an eight-year tenure which included many of the most difficult times we have faced, and through his hands-on leadership, we have emerged as a strong, nationally-recognized company that is building capital for its artistic programs, and has a successful management record led by General Director David Devan. We are proud to invest in the next chapter of this company as it continues on a trajectory of providing meaningful work to our own loyal cultural community, and building Philadelphia’s influence within the world of opera.”
The Wyncote Foundation, on the recommendation of Meyer and his partner, Frederick R. Haas, has made a $5 million leadership gift to launch a $10 million campaign supporting the Opera Company’s new strategic plan. The five-year commitment was made to garner an additional $5 million in new and increased gifts from the community, with an aggressive kick-start aimed at raising $1 million by the end of the Opera Company’s current fiscal year on May 31, 2012.
“This leadership gift is a resounding vote of confidence in our strategic plan and our goal of producing a broad range of works at an ever-increasing quality,” shared General Director David B. Devan. “It is the culmination of the extraordinary direction provided by Steve Madva and a deeply committed Board of Directors which has enabled us to develop local and national resources to support our artistic aspirations. Now, as we welcome Dan Meyer into his new role, we have an unprecedented opportunity to build on our momentum to hit the ground running and raise the additional $5 million to meet this challenge.”
While the Opera Company’s last strategic plan focused on achieving financial stability, the current plan for 2012-2015 focuses on the need to properly capitalize the company in order to achieve artistic development as outlined in the Company’s new strategic plan, including:
· Repertoire expansion from within the current canon of existing works for Opera at the Academy
· Enhanced casting resources and new productions developed with other leading opera companies
· Productions of new and rarely-performed works for the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater
· The American Repertoire Program, the Company’s commitment to produce one American work each year for the next decade
· The development of non-traditional programming outside the opera house through partnerships and community programs.
Meyer’s appointment is the result of a comprehensive succession discussion, and the establishment of a Succession Committee chaired by long-time OCP Board Member Frederick P. Huff. The committee brought together both Opera Company board leadership and key stakeholders within the community to identify a potential candidate to succeed the current chairman. Steve Madva, who took the helm of the Board of Directors in June 2004, will hold the position until September 2012, working alongside Chair-Elect Meyer for a smooth transition.
Madva’s term began just months before the untimely passing of Executive Director Jack Mulroney. He spearheaded the executive search which identified David Devan to lead the company, fortified the Opera Company’s Board of Directors and, most recently, has overseen three consecutive years of balanced budgets during fiscally challenging times for opera companies across the country. Madva’s leadership has shifted the Company’s focus towards artistic development and long-term sustainability.
“My tenure as Board Chair has been a rewarding one, both personally and on behalf of a Board of Directors whose members believe deeply that a city with Philadelphia’s cultural riches deserves a vibrant, financially sound opera company that produces world class performances,” shared Madva. “I have served longer than I initially expected, always with the goal of leaving the Company on sound footing, and finding a strong, dedicated successor. I truly could not be more thrilled that Dan Meyer has taken on this new role, and I know that his intelligence and enthusiasm will inspire our community. I look forward to working alongside him in the coming months, and for years to come as colleagues on the Board.”
Dan Meyer recently retired from Cooper University Hospital as Program Director for the Division of Infectious Diseases. Prior to his medical career, he worked as a musician and music educator from 1981 to 1989. His undergraduate degree was in piano performance, and he worked as a piano instructor at Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts in Reading, as a choral conductor, choir master, and organist with a number of churches, and as a musical director for Genesius Theater in Reading. An active philanthropist, he currently resides in Center City and serves on the boards of the William Penn Foundation and Lebanon Valley College, and as an advisor to the Wyncote Foundation. The Opera Company of Philadelphia’s Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater is named in honor of a family member following a generous show of support for the Company’s Today for Tomorrow campaign in 2008.
The Opera Company of Philadelphia Season continues from April 20-29 at the Academy of Music with Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, and finishes with the premiere of the new American opera Dark Sisters with music by Nico Muhly and libretto by Stephen Karam as part of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater. The 2012-2013 Season is on sale now at operaphila.org.