The Minnesota Opera today made it official and named interim leader Kevin Ramach (right) the company’s new president and general manager.
Ramach took the reins at the Opera earlier this year after the abrupt departure of Allan Naplan who resigned in March for personal reasons.
Naming Ramach to the job gives the organization a little more certainty as it enters its important 50th anniversary season ion the fall.
When asked how he feels about taking on the new permanent job at a time of a rocky economy, he said he’s already enjoyed the support of the creative team at the Opera, and knows from experience about the enthusiasm of the Minnesota Opera audience.
“I am more excited actually than nervous,” he said. “I think there will be tough days and those things we will just get through if we all work together.”
Ramach says getting the permanent job will allow him to fill some important open positions and help the organization move forward with direction.
The Opera’s new leader is no stranger to the organization, having spent half his career there. In a release this morning Board Chair Shelli Chase described him as “an extraordinary talent.”
“I know I speak for the entire board when I saw how impressed we have been with his leadership of the strategic planning process and how he galvanized the company through a difficult transition,” Chase said.
Ramach first joined the Minnesota Opera in 1988, working in several different positions before leaving to join the Kentucky Opera as a production manager in 1999. He returned to the Minnesota Opera in 2006 as a production director, but has been involved in many different jobs since, including labor relations, HD video projects and representing the Opera in the effort to remodel the Ordway.
He says the Opera remains committed to mounting quality productions and to commissioning new work. However he says the organization has to make sure it is reaching as wide an audience as possible.
“I think you can always improve what you are doing. I think we need to reach out to more of the state, we need to get out into the state more than just being performing in St Paul and having our offices and doing other activities here in Minneapolis.”
The Minnesota Opera’s 50th anniversary season opens September 22nd with a new staging of Verdi’s “Nabucco.”
(Image courtesy Minnesota Opera)