A scene from "Cosi fan Tutte," this year's production by Mill City Summer Opera (photo by Dan Norman)
Facing a challenging move and the quiet departure of its artistic director, Mill City Summer Opera announced two new appointments Monday.
Cory Johnson has been named executive director after two years as the opera's development director. There will also be a new artistic advisor, Eric Einhorn.
The announcement did not mention that the opera was parting ways with Crystal Manich, who was appointed artistic director less than a year ago,
“I elected to not seek contract renewal as the company investigates new venues and enters a new artistic chapter,” she wrote in an email to the Star Tribune. “I look forward to following Mill City Summer Opera’s future success.”
The new leadership team's priority will be managing the opera’s move away from its namesake base at the Mill City Museum on the Minneapolis riverfront, where it has presented opera outdoors in the ruins of the old Washburn A mill each summer since 2012. The Minnesota Historical Society, which operates the museum, opted not to extend the opera's contract.
The company’s new home will be Paikka, an event space located in the renovated Vandalia Tower complex in St. Paul's Midway. No detailed information on the 2020 season has yet been made available.
Johnson's brief is to provide “fundraising, strategic and fiscal leadership,” according to an email issued by the organization.
Einhorn, who co-founded the New York City-based On Site Opera, specializes in the type of site-specific productions that Mill City Summer Opera has brought to the Twin Cities for the past eight seasons.