The Board of Directors of New York City Opera has announced the appointment of George Steel as the company's new General Manager and Artistic Director. Mr. Steel is expected to assume his responsibilities as of February 1, 2009.
A respected, accomplished and innovative figure in the American performing arts, Mr. Steel is best known for his outstanding eleven-year tenure as Executive Director of the Miller Theatre at Columbia University, from 1997 to 2008. Under his leadership, the theater became known as one of New York City's leading showcases for early and modern music and multi-disciplinary programming.
"George Steel is both a brilliant artistic producer and a highly effective institution-builder," Susan Baker, Chairman of the City Opera Board, commented. "He is also someone with a deep commitment to the historic mission of New York City Opera, in both its adventurous programming and its dynamic educational initiatives and audience outreach. We are confident that his strong, visionary leadership will take City Opera to a new level of artistic achievement and popular success."
"It is an enormous honor, and an enormous responsibility, to be asked to participate in building the future of New York City Opera," George Steel stated. "My goal is to help 'the People's Opera' renew its indispensable mission as an important producer of early opera, a proponent of American singers and new works, a force for rediscovering vital but lesser-known works, and an originator of visionary productions of classic repertoire."
Mr. Steel took primary responsibility for fundraising, financial and personnel management, marketing, publicity, and facility planning at the Miller Theatre, while programming 60 to 80 events a year in music, opera, dance, film, theatre, and intellectual discussion. He also initiated commissioning projects and developed collaborations with major national and international cultural institutions, including New York City Opera.
Mr. Steel, who is 42, has most recently served as General Director of The Dallas Opera. He is also known for his earlier work as Managing Producer of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street YW-YMHA (1995-97) and as the founder and conductor of two respected New York City music ensembles, the Gotham City Orchestra and Vox Vocal Ensemble.