Cincinnati Opera Announces Five-Year Contract Extension for Evans Mirageas

Evan Mirageas headshot

Evan Mirageas. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Cincinnati, Ohio—Cincinnati Opera today announced a five-year contract extension for Evans Mirageas, the company’s Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director. The executive committee of Cincinnati Opera’s board of trustees approved the extension earlier this month, and the decision was shared today at the company’s October board meeting.

Mirageas was first engaged by Cincinnati Opera as Artistic Advisor in January 2005 and, following an international search, he was named Artistic Director in July 2005. With the current extension, Mirageas will continue as The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director through the 2027 season, during which time he will shape Cincinnati Opera’s artistic vision in partnership with Christopher Milligan, The Harry Fath General Director & CEO, along with the Opera’s board and staff.

“Through his collaborative leadership and outstanding reputation within our industry, Evans has helped to elevate Cincinnati Opera’s profile on the international cultural stage,” said Liz Kathman Grubow, president of Cincinnati Opera’s board of trustees. “It’s rare to find an artistic leader who has both an encyclopedic knowledge of the art form as well as a genuine passion for creating authentic connections with our community. In Evans, we’re lucky to have both, and I’m thrilled he will continue on in his role.”

“I’m convinced that Evans would succeed as the artistic leader of any opera company in the world, but we’re fortunate that he’s here at Cincinnati Opera,” added Milligan. “He is a tireless advocate for the company, an enthusiastic champion for our art form, and an outstanding colleague.”

Since his appointment in 2005, Mirageas has helped to establish Cincinnati Opera as a prime cultural destination by advocating for the commissioning and presentation of new and rarely produced operas and engaging internationally renowned singers and creative artists. Mirageas’s commitment to new works extends to his role as co-director—along with Robin Guarino, professor of opera at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)—of Opera Fusion: New Works, a dynamic partnership between Cincinnati Opera and CCM that supports the development of new American operas. Beyond the mainstage, Mirageas has deepened the company’s connection to the Greater Cincinnati community through unique programmatic partnerships with cultural, civic, religious, and educational organizations across the region. He has also overseen the releases of two commercial recordings of Cincinnati Opera world premiere productions, Fellow Travelers (2017) and Blind Injustice (2021).

“It is an honor and a privilege to continue working with Cincinnati Opera,” said Mirageas. “In my first sixteen seasons, we’ve presented world-class grand opera, building on a legacy that began more than one hundred years ago. We’ve championed existing contemporary works and have become a national leader in our profession for shepherding new pieces to the stage. We’ve weathered an international financial crisis and produced during a pandemic. All those successes and resiliency could not have been accomplished without my colleagues, our artistic partners, our board of trustees, and our generous patrons.”

Continued Mirageas, “I began my tenure working closely with General Director & CEO Patty Beggs, and now I am privileged to work with her successor, Chris Milligan. Our volunteer and executive leadership is acknowledged to be the best in the business, and I am excited about the plans already in place for these next six seasons. Watch this space for a true Cincinnati combination of innovation, community connection, and artistic excellence in everything we present.” 

About Cincinnati Opera
Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect our community through diverse opera experiences. Founded in 1920 and the second-oldest opera company in the nation, Cincinnati Opera presents a thrilling season of grand opera every summer and engaging programs throughout the year. The company’s repertoire includes beloved classics and contemporary masterworks brought to life by some of the world’s most dynamic performers and creative artists. 

Cincinnati Opera is supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. Cincinnati Opera also receives general season support from the Ohio Arts Council, The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Patricia A. Corbett Estate and Trust, and the Harry T. Wilks Family Foundation, along with general season and project support from many other generous individuals, corporations, and foundations. Cincinnati Opera is a proud member of OPERA America. 

To learn more, visit cincinnatiopera.org.

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