Opera Europa appoints Karen Stone as New Director

By Francisco Salazar

Opera Europa has appointed Karen Stone as its new Director following a thorough search process.

The Board of Opera Europa made the appointment effective Jan. 1, 2023. Stone will take over from current Director Nicholas Payne, who is passing on the baton after leading the membership organization since 2003.

The announcement was by Anna Maria Meo, president of Opera Europa at the autumn conference Integration & Inclusion hosted by Hungarian State Opera.

In a statement, Meo said, “The selection committee was convinced by Karen Stone’s true devotion to opera and the performing arts. She has been a faithful and active member of Opera Europa for many years and has demonstrated her support and belief in our association. Her international experience and her understanding of the diversity of our membership are of great value. Her commitment to the next generation – of managers, of artists, of audiences – will benefit Opera Europa thanks to her fabulous energy. Karen Stone is the ideal candidate to lead Opera Europa into a new stage.”

In response to her appointment Stone said, “It is always a surprise what will turn up next in life, but what a thrill it is to be chosen to take over the reins of Opera Europa, certainly the most exciting new direction for me! Nicholas Payne has done such a marvelous job setting up Opera Europa and developing it into the strong international organization it has become, that I know he will be a hard act to follow, but he is handing over a thriving network of European companies and a marvelous group of professionals in the organization. I cannot wait to sit down with them and the Board to grow Opera Europa and plan future initiatives and directions. I am looking forward enormously to putting all my efforts into supporting and developing this great institution and to meeting with all my colleagues and friends and getting the input from such a creative group.”

Stone recently retired from Theater Magdeburg where she held the position of Intendantin for 13 years. She has also been General Director at The Dallas Opera, Generalintendantin at Oper Graz and Opera Director at Oper Köln.