After the success of the historic 60th Anniversary Season and as the company prepares for 2023, a new facility, and more, the Palm Beach Opera board of directors is excited to announce the extension of David Walker’s contract as general and artistic director, securing his position through May of 2025.
“After many successful seasons and as we reflect on the last two years of tenacious planning and perseverance, Palm Beach Opera’s board of directors is thrilled to renew David Walker’s contract. His exceptional leadership, artistic vision, and true passion has helped PBO thrive in even the most uncertain times,” said David Genser, PBO’s chairman of the board of directors. “We are thrilled to secure his position for three more years as we look ahead to the 2023 Season, plan for a first-ever facility, and continue to build PBO’s bright future together.”
In 2019, after serving as the company’s managing director for four years, Walker was appointed general and artistic director. During his first season in the role, Walker attained PBO’s highest-grossing production in over 12 seasons with Puccini’s “Turandot” and expertly guided the company through the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19. In 2021, Palm Beach Opera successfully pivoted its entire season to a first-ever outdoor opera festival, becoming one of the first in the nation to present live, large-scale opera since the onset of the pandemic.
Palm Beach Opera’s new Discovery Series program, which presents opera’s hidden gems in an intimate setting, was also spearheaded by Walker during his first few seasons as general and artistic director. The unique productions aim to highlight PBO’s artist in residence, provide more on-stage training for singers, offer South Floridians a chance to experience lesser-known works, and allow the company to expand artistic programming beyond its blockbuster mainstage season.
Under Walker’s leadership, PBO has also recently purchased a new 18,000 sq. ft. facility, a dream that has been decades in the making. Located in the historic Northwood community, the new PBO building will house administrative offices, host rehearsals and artist training sessions, store production materials, and support education and community programs. The company will begin moving into the building this summer.
“In my seven years with the company, we’ve presented world-class opera to our community, trained award-winning artists, responded with resilience when faced with challenges, and have impacted the lives of so many children and adults through free opera programs,” said Walker. “I am honored to continue building on PBO’s incredible 60-year legacy with our talented board of directors and staff, and I look forward to bringing PBO to new creative heights.”
The highly-anticipated 2023 Season will present Puccini’s iconic “Madama Butterfly” on Jan. 20-22, Mozart’s brilliant “Così fan tutte” on Feb. 24-26, and Verdi’s Shakespeare-inspired “Fallstaff” – for the first time in company history – on March 24-26. All performances will take place at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. New subscriptions for the 2023 Season will be made available to the public on July 1 and single tickets will go on sale in the fall. For more information, visit pbopera.org.