Chicago Opera Theater Names New General Director

By David Salazar

The Chicago Opera Theater has announced that Ashley Magnus will be the new Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson General Director, effective immediately.

Prior to this appointment, Magnus was the company’s General Manager of Strategy and Development and her appointment makes her the second major female leader of the company following Lidiya Yankovskaya’s appointment as the Bill Staley Music Director.

Magnus kickstarted her career at the Utah Symphony / Utah Opera as a Production Coordinator and then worked her way up to more leadership positions. In 2013, she was among those selected to participate in OPERA America’s Leadership Intensive.

“In her time as General Manager, Ashley executed a successful multimillion dollar capital campaign, tripled recorded planned gifts and grew core annual fundraising by 28 percent,” said Chicago Opera Theater Board President Susan Irion in a press release. “She has been an instrumental part of the COT leadership team and played a vital role in the development of the company’s long-term strategic goals. Her work in the industry and at COT positions her perfectly to achieve long-term success as COT’s Edlis Neeson General Director.”

The big news comes as the company prepares to mount its next production, “The Scarlet Ibis.”