Press Release

Opera Naples – Announces Appointment of New General Director

Dennis Hanthorn


New General Director
A thirty-year veteran widely recognized in the industry.
Naples, Florida – The Board of Opera Naples is pleased to announce that Dennis Hanthorn has been appointed General Director of Opera Naples, effective November 15, 2015.

The announcement comes following a six month international executive search guided by Arts Consulting Group, resulting in over 70 applications.

Widely known and respected throughout the opera world, Hanthorn has more than thirty years in the industry serving as the senior executive of three consecutive city opera companies. He is particularly known for getting new initiatives off the ground and helping them flourish.

Most recently, Hanthorn was General Director and CEO of The Atlanta Opera (2004-2012), one of the most distinguished regional opera companies in the nation, where he was recognized as a charismatic leader credited with elevating the company to new levels on many fronts, and successfully managing financial challenges both before and after the recession.
Prior to leading Atlanta Opera, Hanthorn served as General Director for 15 years (1989-2004) with the Milwaukee Florentine Opera Company, and, before that, eight years as Managing Director of the Dayton Opera Association (1982-1989). Earlier still, he was General Manager of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.

Hanthorn has served on the Board of Directors of OPERA America as Secretary and Chair of the Membership Committee, and as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Commenting on the appointment, John Hushon, Chairman of the Board of Opera Naples, said, “We feel extremely fortunate to have attracted an executive of Dennis’ stature in the industry. He has a very demonstrable track record of success. His considerable experience, vast knowledge of the industry and proven leadership skills will be great assets for us.

“We now have the David and Cecile Wang Opera Center as our permanent base. In Ramón Tebar, we have an Artistic Director of international stature. We have the support of our city, county and state. Now, with Dennis Hanthorn as General Director, we feel we have in place all the essential elements we need to build the city’s opera company into a major cultural institution Southwest Florida can look to with pride.”

Commenting on his appointment, Hanthorn said, “Those who love and support opera and consequently invest in us, expect a return on investment in various forms of musical presentation, education and special events. Opera Naples has built such a foundation over the last decade.

“I am honored to be the Board’s choice to lead Opera Naples forward, and grateful to be working with such a dedicated Board of Directors, with Maestro Tebar and the talented staff at Opera Naples, to maximize the company’s potential already evident and help move it to another level.

“I look forward to learning more about Southwest Florida and the company’s many collaborators as we continue to help build the region’s cultural economy and help enhance the quality of life.”

Carol Shaw, the former Executive Director and CEO of Opera Naples, retired in June at the end of the 2014-2015 season.

Opera Naples
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida’s Collier County, Opera Naples is dedicated to presenting opera productions and concerts of the highest quality. A regional artistic powerhouse in an area known for its world class dining, shopping, arts galleries and pristine beaches, the city’s opera company is a cultural jewel in Southwest Florida.

Opera Naples presents internationally renowned performers and directors, while encouraging, grooming, and showcasing young regional talent. It produces classic grand opera at various local venues each season, and chamber opera and concerts at the David and Cecile Wang Opera Center, its new home. A staunch proponent of community service and education outreach, the company has introduced opera to over 60,000 local area children since its inception, and offers various programs, including Lee and Collier county in-school programs and performances; the Young Artists Program; summer programs, and ONcore (for local and regional semi-professional singers).

Opera Naples is led by Artistic Director, internationally renowned Spanish conductor, Ramón Tebar, known for his musical versatility, compelling interpretations and orchestra building skills.

Over the past decade, the company has earned local, regional and state government support. Opera Naples is grateful to its sponsors, patrons and many supporters who have helped it become an important part of the cultural fabric of the region.

A high-resolution color j-peg of Dennis Hanthorn is available upon request.
This release and Dennis Hanthorn’s full biography may be downloaded by clicking here.