Austin Opera has announced that Michael Solomon will join its company as the new Director of Audience Experience, effective immediately.
In this position, created thanks to the Innovation Grant from OPERA America, Solomon will be responsible for maximizing the experience had by opera-goers, working together with Austin Opera’s marketing and development departments as well as external vendors to achieve this goal. Further duties entail working on aspects of the ticket-buying process, activities both pre- and post-performance, and serving as a liaison between patrons and the company.
Well-versed in the field of communications, Solomon’s experience includes six seasons managing press for Washington National Opera, serving as Senior Press Representative for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and two decades as Director of Communications at The Chronicle of Higher Education/The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The grant was awarded to Austin Opera in June 2017, in recognition for their potential to further the industry in regards to organizational effectiveness, artistic support, communication within the community, and overall audience experience. The grant has also allowed for a unique partnership with the Four Seasons Hotel Austin to improve the methods of audience surveys, and implementing the best of hospitality practices for Austin Opera’s operations.
Solomon said in a press release: “I am excited to join the vibrant leadership team at Austin Opera and am grateful for the work of General Director Annie Burridge in securing the grant that makes my position possible. I am thrilled to return to my native Texas and to bring my passion for opera to a city world renowned for its love of live music. I look forward to getting to know our audiences and to enriching their experience at the Opera.”
Austin Opera is the city’s first professional opera company, having been founded in May of 1986. Celebrated nationally and abroad for the quality and choice of their productions, Austin Opera has garnered a reputation as the cornerstone of the cultural and artistic community in Texas. With their performances they aim to entertain, enrich, and educate the central Texas area; through the support of their audiences and OPERA America, Austin Opera will no doubt expand and enliven for years to come.