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Atlanta Opera director Hanthorn realigns staff after budget cuts

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Change is afoot in Atlanta Opera’s administrative offices.

“ Recent administrative vacancies and the reduction of our operating budget from $6.7 million to $5.2 million make this a good time to realign the staff and to streamline our operations so that we are poised for the growth we know will occur as the economy revives,” said general director Dennis Hanthorn in a prepared statement.

Hanthorn has announced the following changes:

>>Paul Melroy has been promoted to the newly created position of managing director. Melroy has been the Atlanta Opera’s senior director of finance and administration  since 2004 and previously from 1993 to 2000.

In his new position, Melroy will be responsible for supervising all administrative and revenue functions of the company including marketing, development, finance, human resources and facilities. He will report to Hanthorn, who retains responsibility for the overall strategic direction of  the company and for all artistic decisions.

>>Cristina Vásconez Herrera has been promoted to the position of director of marketing and communications. Herrera has worked as the opera’s director of communications since 2008 and was interim director of marketing from 2007 to 2008.

>>Education manager Emmalee Iden adds a variety of responsibilities including the selection and casting for the Atlanta Opera Studio’s touring show, engaging singers and accompanists for community events and coordinating and delivering “opera talks” for audience development purposes.

>>Company manager Elecia Crowley has been promoted to artistic administrator and will work with Hanthorn on administering singer, chorister, and other artist contracts.

>>Production manager Michael Benedict assumes responsibility for all production-related activities including scheduling, set rentals, technical direction and the hiring of lighting and wig and makeup designers.

Information on Atlanta Opera’s three-production 2010-11 season: www.atlantaopera.org/season/1011season.aspx

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