Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dallas Opera's new General Director is announced ... he's a smart cookie

From a Press Release just issued:
The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the appointment of 47-year-old Keith Cerny (pronounced SUR-nee), the CEO of Sheet Music Plus, to be the next general director of the Dallas Opera. Effective Monday, May 24, 2010, Mr. Cerny will become the seventh general director in the 53-year-history of the company.

Mr. Cerny will assume the position from Interim General Director John T. Cody, Jr., who has served for the past year.

From 2004 through 2007, Mr. Cerny served as Executive Director (COO) and CFO of the San Francisco Opera; managing all marketing, fund-raising, box-office, endowment, communications, finance and staff functions for one of the nation’s leading opera companies (a $58 million annual budget, $120 million endowment). As one of SFO’s two principal officers reporting to the San Francisco Opera Association, Mr. Cerny managed the organization to three consecutive years of balanced budgets. He launched new marketing and fund-raising initiatives resulting in a significant increase in subscription revenue and, at the same time, worked closely with SFO’s largest foundation donors. Mr. Cerny is currently serving on the Strategy Committee of Opera America (the national service organization for opera).

Mr. Cerny earned B.A. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in Music and Physics with highest honors, an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School, and a Ph.D. in Economic Development Studies/Econometrics from The Open University in the U.K. He also completed the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders-Arts offered by National Arts Strategies and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Cerny’s business experience includes six years with McKinsey & Company (rising to the position of Senior Engagement Manager) focused around telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods in the United States, Europe and Latin America, and seven years with the San Francisco office of Accenture (promoted from Senior Manager to Partner after two and a half years with the company), where he specialized in strategy and business architecture consulting for Communications and High Technology companies.

On the artistic side, the Dallas Opera’s new general director studied opera accompanying on the English National Opera Repetiteur’s Training Course (1985-1986) and pursued part-time post-graduate studies in conducting, accompanying and voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama (1984-1987). At the University of California at Berkeley, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Mr. Cerny was Chairman of the Dean’s Consulting Group in Letters and Science, four-time winner of the Alumni Association Award and recipient of the Eisner Prize in music (1982) for “creative achievement of the highest order.”

His past pro bono consulting activities include work for English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera America, Washington National Opera, Atlanta Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Los Angeles Opera, and – most recently – Houston Grand Opera where he led a multifaceted pro bono initiative on key marketing areas. His pro bono work with San Francisco Opera, prior to his appointment as the company’s Executive Director (COO) and CFO, was written up as a case study by Harvard Business School, and has been taught at a number of leading business schools.
Best wishes to Dallas Opera and to Dr. (SUR-nee).

Thanks to 21C Media Group for the heads up.

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