Danis resigns from Florida Grand Opera closing an 11-year run

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Susan Danis will leave FGO to become CEO of the La Jolla Music Society in October.

Susan Danis became CEO and executive director of Florida Grand Opera in 2012.

Susan Danis, the general director and CEO of Florida Grand Opera, resigned Monday after leading the Miami-based opera company for 11 years.

“It’s time. It’s time for someone else,” she said in a phone interview Monday night.

The company has continued to cut back its offerings and the FGO’s 2023-24 season is the least ambitious in its history, offering just three populist Italian warhorses (Traviata, Boheme, and Pagliacci). “I don’t think that I’m the leader for that kind of repertoire  going forward,” Danis said.

Danis is widely credited with bringing a fresh sense of daring and adventure to the conservative company, lifting it out of the prolonged artistic doldrums of the Robert Heuer era. 

In her first season at the helm, Danis mounted the Florida premiere of the combustible Mourning Becomes Electra by Fort Lauderdale resident Marvin David Levy, which garnered rave reviews. While not everything was received as enthuasiastically,  Danis showed continual resourcefulness—not least in her retooled lineup during the pandemic seaosn when she mounted a series of American chamber operas at smaller venues. “I think some of the best things we did were in the pandemic year, working with what we had,” she said.

Danis said she will stay on board at FGO through the end of October and help with the transition. For herself, Danis said she has no immediate plans.

“I’ve worked in opera for 33 years and I think I’ve taken maybe four weeks off in all that time,” she said. “I just want to take some time and think about what I want to do next.”

Florida Grand Opera opens its season November 11 with Verdi’s La Traviata. fgo.org

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One Response to “Danis resigns from Florida Grand Opera closing an 11-year run”

  1. Posted Dec 12, 2023 at 12:30 am by Neil Eddinger

    I will always be grateful to Susan Danis for the memories of the thrilling productions that she presented at FGO of both our time-honored classics as well as so many new or neglected operas. S

    he gave the audience what we wanted, but she also pushed us ahead, too. She was exactly what FGO needed and served it well.

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