Khori Dastoor Joins Houston Grand Opera as New Managing Director and CEO of the Company



The Houston Grand Opera has announced the appointment of Khori Dastoor as the new CEO and CEO of the company and Margaret Alkek Williams Chair. She will assume her new role at HGO full-time from January 2022.

Dastoor began his opera career in the United States and abroad as a lyrical soprano before pursuing a pioneering career in arts administration, joining Opera San José (OSJ) as artistic advisor in 2013 and Executive Director 2019. While in San José, Dastoor became known for her practical and entrepreneurial artistic and administrative leadership. Through his strategic vision, Dastoor has made Opera San José a profitable institution by providing exceptional tax management while expanding the company’s classic repertoire and focusing on the next generation of artists and operators. This success and his combination of creativity and leadership marked the start of many first milestones in his impressive career. Prior to her position at OSJ, she was Associate Director of the Packard Humanities Institute, responsible for initiatives spanning the arts, music and archeology.

Houston Grand Opera has long led the way in the development of new opera works that speak to the American experience, as well as the vibrancy and vibrancy of Houston, Texas. I have long admired this legendary institution, including the he legacy is rich with new commissions, world premieres, acclaimed artists and breathtaking world-class productions, ”said Khori Dastoor, new Managing Director and CEO of HGO.“ HGO will continue to drive opera forward by developing offerings. diverse, evolving known stories to reflect our current world and celebrating the incredible artists, musicians and creators who make this art form possible. “

Dastoor’s leadership in the industry extends far beyond his work with Opera San José. She recently joined the Board of Directors of OPERA America (OA) and is a founding member and mentor of OA’s new initiative, the Mentorship Program for Opera Leaders of Color, which pairs BIPOC professionals with leaders from high level in the field of opera. She also sits on the Alumni Committee of the Aspen Festival and Music School, is a graduate of the American Express Women in Music Leadership Academy, and previously served as the San Francisco District Director of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. .

In November 2020, HGO’s board of directors and management team decided to change the current structure of the organization and began the search for a CEO. For approximately 10 years previously, HGO CEO Perryn Leech and HGO Art and Music Director Patrick Summers co-led the company under the CEO’s office. Leech left the company at the end of 2020 and is now Managing Director of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Summers remains with HGO as Artistic and Music Director, the Sarah and Ernest Butler Chair.

HGO’s board of directors has spent the past six months conducting an in-depth search for the company’s new CEO. Dastoor has stood out in the field with her clear vision for the future of opera, her proven track record of organizational transformation, and her commitment to inclusion, collaboration, technological advancement and expanding access to the art form.

“When we started our search, we knew we were looking for a candidate who would bring innovative ideas to Houston and build on the wonderful work already underway at HGO,” says Allyn Risley, Chairman of the Board of Directors of HGO. “We found this and so much more at Khori Dastoor. Her energy and passion for the art form is truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to see her step up and embrace the unique spirit of this city.”

Dastoor joins HGO as the company embarks on its next daring act. “If this past year has taught us anything, it’s the vital role the arts play in our lives,” she shares. “Opera has lasted for centuries thanks to the tireless work of incredible artists and musicians, who continue to advance our art form. I am delighted to join Houston Grand Opera, a company that leads the industry in development. new talent and the creation of new works and I look forward to joining you this fall for our triumphant return to in-person performances. “

“In HGO’s long history, a few remarkable days stand out. Because I had the privilege of having a long tenure at HGO, I have many of those precious moments; today is one of them. Khori Dastoor is a brilliant choice for HGO’s next frontman, “shares HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers. “She has the rarest combination of exemplary qualities: she is a visionary, intelligent and broad artist, and an administrator of unprecedented empathy, professionalism and integrity. I look forward to seeing the future of our company. company under his direction. “

Dastoor holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in opera studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Khori Dastoor is an inspiring leader, colleague and friend of the arts, and I am delighted that she directs HGO! I have known her for 20 years: first as a radiant soprano and scholar, then as an administrator. innovative – still a remarkable collaborator and connector, “says composer Jake Heggie.” Deep down, she loves opera and believes in its resonance as a vital, current and immensely flexible art form – essential to a community. Where others see problems, Khori sees possibilities. It has also been a mantra for the great Houston Grand Opera, a company that has overcome immense challenges and has always emerged leading with curiosity, innovation, bold ideas, new works and brilliant artists. The combination of Khori Dastoor’s leadership and HGO’s incredible legacy is cause for celebration! “

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