Vancouver Opera names Tom Wright its general director

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      The Vancouver Opera has named Tom Wright its new general director.

      He has provided interim leadership since November 1, 2019, after the departure in late October that year of Kim Gaynor over what she said in a statement at the time was a "divergence of opinion" with the VO board.

      Wright had previously worked 13 seasons as Vancouver Opera’s director of artistic planning. Before that, he was director of artistic planning for Arizona Opera and the director of production at Calgary Opera. 

      As reported in the Straight, Vancouver Opera recently announced it would be forced to cancel the rest of its 2020-21 season, including the hotly anticipated Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera. Next season, 2020-21, will be the opera's big 60th anniversary. 

      “With my experience at Vancouver Opera I am well aware of the current challenges our organization, along with many others, will face in the coming months,” Wright said in the press announcement today. “During this time, I would like to thank everyone for their support of the organization including our senior leadership team, all members of the board, our donors and volunteers, and our opera community. I would like to acknowledge the board’s dedication to protecting the integrity of the organization as we navigate these uncharted waters of a global pandemic. My commitment is to maintain the artistic and cultural mandates of Vancouver Opera while ensuring its future financial success.

      “I recognize now how important it is for arts organizations to work together during these unparalleled times. I remain committed to the viability and future success of the company as we seek new ways to provide content to our audiences and prepare for our exciting 60th anniversary season."

      Earlier this week, in the face of COVID-19 closures, the city joined other levels of government in ensuring operating funding to arts groups, including the Vancouver Opera, which it will grant $55,000, the same as last year.