In a press release Monday, The Dallas Opera (TDO) announced the appointment of Walker Beard as its Director of Operations, which is a new position created with the recent restructuring of TDO’s production, technical, and artistic teams.
“We are delighted to welcome Walker Beard to The Dallas Opera,” Ian Derrer, TDO’s general director and CEO said in the release. “It’s not easy to find someone who has the unique combination of skill sets for both artistic and production leadership, and Walker has a proven track record with both.”
Beard is a Texas native fro El Paso who joins TDO from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. There he served as senior manager of Artistic Programming Operations since 2017. Beginning Friday, Beard will work closely with Derrer, music director Emmanuel Villaume, and artistic consultant David LomelÍ on artistic planning and will oversee both the TDO’s production team and its artistic administration.
While at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Walker Beard produced the entirety of the organization’s classical music output in the Great Performers series, White Light Festival, and Mostly Mozart Festival, and served as General Manager of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Prior to joining Lincoln Center, Walker Beard was the Production Manager at the historic Trinity Church Wall Street in lower Manhattan where he managed operations and artistic planning for their resident and presented artists, venues, festivals, series, touring, live webcasts, recording projects, and communications.
TDO also announced the retirement of technical director Drew Field who has a 30-year tenure with the company. Field will conclude his time at TDO in spring at the end of the 2o21/22 season.
“Retirement news is always bittersweet,” Derrer mentioned. “Drew has been a fixture at the company for so long, and his contributions are too numerous to list. He will be missed by all of us, but if there is anyone who deserves a wonderful retirement, it is Drew.”
The Dallas Opera season begins in October with a slate of special performances followed by staged productions in February at the Winspear Opera House. Here is TDO’s upcoming 2021/22 season:
Oct. 22, 24 and 30 Opera’s Greatest Hits! featuring selections from The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, Rodelinda and more.
Oct. 29 The Dallas Opera 31st National Vocal Competition final round
Nov. 6 Hart Institute for Women Conductors Showcase Concert.The Dallas Opera Orchestra will be led by seven of the opera world’s rising young conductors in an evening of opera favorites. The roster includes Yeo Ryeong Ahn (South Korea), Christine Brandes (USA), Michelle Di Russo (Argentina), Barbara Dragan (Poland), Chelsea Gallo (USA), Elinor Rufeizen (Israel), and Susannah Wapshott (UK).
Feb. 18-26 Madame Butterfly
March 4-12 Flight
March 19-27 The Barber of Seville
April 2-10 The Pearl Fishers
For more information about The Dallas Opera, visit dallasopera.org.
— Rich Lopez