Opera San José General Director Khori Dastoor to Lead Houston Grand Opera as General Director and CEO

By Chris Ruel
Photo Credit: Chris Hardy

Khori Dastoor, the current General Director of Opera San José (OSJ), has been named the new General Director and CEO of Houston Grand Opera (HGO).

Dastoor will assume her new role in January 2022.

Dastoor has served OSJ for the past 14 years, first as a member of the company’s ensemble of principals. During that time, she continued performing on international stages, building a vibrant career as a soloist while also serving as the casting advisor to OSJ founder and General Director Irene Dalis.

In 2013, Dastoor joined OSJ’s staff as Artistic Advisor to the General Director, and upon Dalis’ retirement, she was named Director of Artistic Planning under the leadership of Larry Hancock. Dastoor’s primary responsibility was the recruitment and casting of artists.

“We have come full circle together,” said Dastoor in the OSJ press release. “I arrived at Opera San José in 2007 and immediately felt that I had found my artistic home. During my time working with this company, serving this community, I have been a singer, a producer, an artistic advisor, an arts administrator, a general director. I have lived, from start to finish, Opera San José’s mission, and the company will forever be a part of my artistic identity.”

Noting that there is still work ahead, Dastoor adds, “We remain hard at work, preparing for our California Theatre return—artists are being cast, sets are being designed, music is being prepared. It will be an incredible season, celebrating the return of live performances and all the artists who make it possible.”

The long-awaited 2021-22 season includes a digital production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mozart and Salieri” in September 2021 before OSJ makes its triumphant return to the California Theater with a production of “Dido and Aeneas” in November.

OSJ has formed a transition committee and expects to name Dastoor’s successor within the next few months.

“We take great pride in Opera San José’s 37-year history as one of the world’s leading operatic incubators, and no one has embodied this mission more than Khori Dastoor. We are so thankful for all that she has done in service of our artists, our artform, and our community. As with all OSJ alum, her success is our success—we will be rooting for her. Opera San José is stronger than ever, and will continue to support incredible artists and produce world-class opera from the California Theatre stage, and digitally to patrons around the globe,” said Board Chair Gillian Moran in a statement announcing the departure of Dastoor.

Besides taking the helm at HGO, OPERA America recently appointed Dastoor to its Board of Directors, where she will serve as co-chair of the Leadership and Learning Council. She is also one of three inaugural mentors in the Mentorship Program for Leaders of Color.