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Adrian Collette, Chief Executive Officer of Opera Australia, has announced that he will resign at the end of this year after 16 years at the helm.
During that time he facilitated a merger with the troubled Victorian State Opera, seeing the company through the much decried departure of former music director Simone Young and, six years later, the sudden death of her successor, British conductor Richard Hickox. At the end of the last financial year, OA posted its first operating surplus, of $319,189, after two successive deficits.
"It has been a privilege to lead Australia’s major performing arts company," Collette said in a statement today. "My respect and affection for it, its people and all those who support it are as strong as ever.
The former singer will take up the role of Executive Director, Engagement and Partnerships with the University of Melbourne.
"The time has come for me to seek new challenges," he added. "I am sad to leave; but I do so knowing that Opera Australia is enjoying real success and that we have built a platform on which the company can develop further."
The company's infrastructure now includes an in-house CD and DVD label, international cinema screenings of filmed productions, various regional and education programs and other initiatives designed to reach out to a wider audience.
Opera Australia Chairman Ziggy Switkowski said of his colleague: "We are sorry to see him go, but I have great confidence in the strong artistic and executive leadership he has put in place."
No replacement has yet been announced.