14 October 2005

Opera Company of Philadelphia Hires David Devan of Pacific Opera Victoria as First Managing Director

devan
David Devan, 42, who has served as executive director of British Columbia's Pacific Opera Victoria since 1997, has been named as Opera Company of Philadelphia's first managing director in the company's history, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. As part of his new position, Devan will reportedly head the company's development, marketing and education departments.

The first ever managing director hired by the company, Devan will report to general and artistic director Robert B. Driver as well as assume some of the responsibilities of the company's late executive director John P. Mulroney.

"I'm really looking to grow the company," Devan is quoted as saying. "My priorities are to get the organization to articulate clearly its role in the community and its role in the marketplace, rejuvenate the development program, and do a human resource reallocation to make sure that everyone is in a slot that best uses their skills."

The Inquirer reports that Opera Company of Philadelphia has encountered myriad financial and attendance problems in recent months following a decade of growth within the organization. As a result of the company's troubles, OCP has reportedly racked up a $400,000 deficit from an $8.6 million budget. In addition, the paper reports that the company dismissed Susan S. Ashbaker, an integral member of the music staff for 16 years, as well the company's director of marketing, director of development and two low-level staff members. The number of subscribers at the company has also reportedly fallen from 12,600 - as recorded during the 1999-2000 - to 8,750 for last season. The company is reportedly playing to a paid capacity of 79 percent.

More information can be found at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Victoria's Times Colonist and the Opera Company of Philadelphia

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