By Howard Pousner
Dennis Hanthorn, the Atlanta Opera’s general director for eight years, has resigned, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
The 32-year-old opera company was one of the metro arts groups hardest hit by the recession until its fortunes reversed last year when it received a $9 million bequest from longtime board member Barbara D. Stewart.
Hanthorn quietly resigned last week in what spokesperson Laura Soldati characterized as a “mutual decision” with the opera’s board. She said Hanthorn would not be available to discuss his sudden departure.
Former Houston Grand Opera executive director Ann Owens will advise a team of Atlanta Opera senior management leaders while the board conducts a national search for Hanthorn’s replacement.
The company opens its three-opera season with “Carmen” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 10.