We're about to break your hearts, opera fans. Houston Grand Opera announced Friday that Managing Director Perryn Leech will be leaving the company, effective December 31.
Leech, who has been with the company for nearly 14 years, serving as managing director for nine of them, will act as a consultant during this leadership transition.
A Brighton, England, native, Leech joined HGO after five years at the Welsh National Opera and four with the English National Opera. Under his leadership, HGO produced a full season amid the challenges of Hurricane Harvey, grew the company’s artistic programs, and, most recently, successfully transitioned to an all-digital season in response to the current coronavirus pandemic. Leech also serves as chairman of the board for Theater District Houston and is a board member of Opera America.
“We are indebted to Perryn for his strong leadership, his positive determination, and his sense of humor over the past nine years,” HGO Board Chair Allyn Risley said in a statement. “Many of us will miss him greatly as he heads onto his next opportunity.”
Following Leech’s exit, HGO will switch up its leadership structure, according to the press release, hiring a general director to lead the company instead of having those duties split between the roles of managing director and artistic and music director. Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers remains in his current role and will now report to whoever ultimately fills the position of general director.