Florida Grand Opera names interim general director

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Maria Todaro has been named interim general director of Florida Grand Opera. She succeeds Susan Danis, who resigned last month after helming the Miami company for the past 11 years.

“I am truly humbled to have been entrusted with the responsibility of advancing Florida Grand Opera,” said Todaro, in a statement released by FGO “My primary goal is to wholeheartedly align with the vision of our esteemed board of directors and to build upon the remarkable achievements of my predecessors as we embark on an exciting new phase of growth, with the aim of increasing our influence and relevance within our community. 

“In a world often marked by crises and despair, FGO’s role remains of paramount importance, introducing as many individuals as possible to the transformative and healing power of opera.”

“The board and staff of Florida Grand Opera is thrilled to welcome Maria Todaro as our Interim General Director,” said Per-Olof Lööf, FGO board president. “Her vision of what is possible in opera and her passion for the art form is infectious. It was obvious to us that she is the right person to build on the legacy of Susan T. Danis and guide our beloved opera throughout this season.”

While the press release states that Todaro will only helm the company through the 2023–24 season, inside scuttlebutt is that Todaro’s position will almost certainly be made permanent next year.

Todaro is the general director of the Hudson Valley International Festival of the Voice, which she cofounded with her husband, operatic baritone, Louis Otey.

She is the daughter of Italian opera singer Jose Todaro and Brazilian mezzo-soprano Maria-Helena de Oliveira. Her grandmother, Helena de Oliveira, headed the International Vocal and Piano Competition of Rio de Janeiro. 

She began as a mezzo-soprano in opera before moving to a career as a stage director. She has directed 23 productions for companies such as Minnesota Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theater. She also wrote a libretto with composer Mitch Bach for an opera based on The Three Musketeers.

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Thu Oct 26, 2023
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