Six months ago, the Fort Worth Opera terminated the contract of then-general manager Darren K. Woods. Now the organization is shifting gears, naming not one replacement, but two.
One week removed from announcing the involving of celebrated artist Plácido Domingo in the Fort Worth Opera National Artistic Council, the organization has named Tuomas Hiltunen and Joe Illick as the two people to lead the organization. Hiltunen will act as the new general manager while Illick will be the artistic director. Illick has been music director with the organization since 2002.
Hiltunen has had a solid career working as an administrator, educator, actor and opera performer and was recently director of administration and management of the international Barenboim-Said Foundation USA.
“The goal will be for us to strengthen the financial health of the company,” Hiltunen stated according to the Star Telegram.
The two pledged that the company would push in a new direction to emphasize artistic diversity.
“There are plenty of people who want to see their first ‘Carmen’ or ‘La boheme,’ and we’ll always do those works,” Illick stated. “But we love finding new pieces and discovering new composers and voices. How we find new and meaningful works and respond to changes happening around the world, will always be part of our mission.”