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  Susan Danis  


General Director and CEO

Susan Danis has served as the General Director and CEO of the Florida Grand Opera (FGO) since October of 2012. During her tenue, FGO has produced award winning education and engagement programs, including a season of all American Opera during the Winter of 2021 in the midst of the pandemic. She has produced internationally acclaimed operas including Norma, The Passenger, Florencia en el Amazonas, and Before Night Falls, with upcoming productions of Gianni Schicchi, Buoso’s Ghost, Tosca, and The Barber of Seville.

Danis previously served as the Executive Director of Sarasota Opera for twelve years. During her tenure the opera's budget grew from $3.2 million to more than $8.5 million, both the board of trustees and staffing structures were reconfigured to meet the ever changing needs of the company, and both a $20 million renovation of the opera’s 1926 historic theater and the renovation of the company’s 16-unit apartment complex were completed. Danis was instrumental in the addition of a fifth opera and developed the ongoing commissioning of new works for the Opera’s Youth Opera program. Under her leadership the opera raised over $47 million (including legacy gifts) during its Building on the Vision capital campaign.

In January 2012 Ms. Danis was appointed to the South Florida affiliate’s board of directors for Fifth Third Bank. She held the office of Chairman of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau. She was awarded The 2010 Florida Trust for Historic Preservations Award for Outstanding Achievement in Restoration/Rehabilitation and was also awarded the 2008 “She Knows Where She is Going Award” from Girls, Inc.

She served a six-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of OPERA America, where she was treasurer for three years. She was also an Advisory Board member of the Shoshana Foundation, an emeritus board member of the Sarasota Music Archive, a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League and a past board member of the Sarasota County Cultural Alliance and The New Gate School of Sarasota. She has also served as a panelist for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

Before moving to Florida, Ms. Danis served as the general director of the Lake George Opera Festival (now known as Opera Saratoga) for eight years. During her tenure, the budget grew by more than 35%; the company was successfully repositioned from Glen Falls to Saratoga Springs, New York, with a resulting 32% increase in ticket sales. During her tenure, both the education and outreach programs were revitalized.

Under Danis’ leadership, Florida Grand Opera is celebrating its 82nd season. It continues to thrive under her artistic vision, which includes the championship of contemporary and neglected masterpieces that resonate with South Florida audiences, while growing the opera’s reputation for excellence via its competitive and sought-after Studio Artists Program as well as its world-class mainstage performances.




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