Manitoba Opera

Sep 27, 2021


Elba Haid, Outgoing Chair of the Board of Trustees for Manitoba Opera (MO), announced today that the company has renewed the contract for Larry Desrochers, General Director & CEO, for another five years – expiring May 31, 2026. Desrochers has been at the helm of Manitoba’s only full-time professional opera company since 2000. He is currently Canada’s longest-serving general director and one of the longest-serving general directors in North America.

“As chair of the board these past five seasons, it has been my deepest pleasure to have worked with Larry on so many important initiatives for the company. His unfailing leadership and collaborative spirit have resulted in a vibrant opera company for this community. The strides we have made would not have been possible without him,” commented Haid. “And as we lay the groundwork for the launch of an endowment campaign, the leadership stability that we will continue to have with Larry at the helm will most certainly factor into the community’s response.”

During his tenure, Desrochers instituted strong governance practices for the board, increased staff, professionalized administrative practices, and increased fundraising. Following a long period of fiscal challenges for Manitoba Opera, he posted 12 consecutive balanced budgets, a feat not previously achieved in the company’s history. Recently, he led a successful campaign to eliminate the decades-old debt. He has enhanced the company’s artistic integrity, developed local and Canadian artists, and fostered community relevance through new educational and civic practice programs.

His own creative output has resulted in some of the most important work that Manitoba Opera has undertaken, including the commission of MO’s first new opera, Transit of Venus in 2007, for which he served as dramaturg and director. His ground-breaking production of Fidelio connected the opera’s themes of oppression to stories of real-life political prisoners and to local refugees. La Liberte called Fidelio “perhaps the most important opera in the history of the company.” Opera Canada recently chose Fidelio as MO’s opera of the decade.

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