Opera Europa appoints Karen Stone as new Director

Taking over from longtime director Nicholas Payne, Karen Stone will lead the membership organization from 1 January 2023.

  • Opera Europa appoints Karen Stone as new Director | Copyright: © Opera Europa

    © Opera Europa

After a lengthy search process to determine their needs and priorities, Opera Europa announced that Karen Stone was to be their new director in late October.

As Opera Europa President Anna Maria Meo explained: “The selection committee was convinced by Karen Stone’s true devotion to opera and the performing arts. She has been a faithful and active member of Opera Europa for many years and has demonstrated her support and belief in our association. Her international experience and her understanding of the diversity of our membership are of great value. Her commitment to the next generation – of managers, of artists, of audiences – will benefit Opera Europa thanks to her fabulous energy. Karen Stone is the ideal candidate to lead Opera Europa into a new stage.’

The Intendantin of Theater Magdeburg for 13 years, Stone has also been General Director at The Dallas Opera, Generalintendantin at Oper Graz and Opera Director at Oper Köln, aside from various positions in theatres in Germany and the United Kingdom and her international career as a stage director.

Stone was thrilled about her appointment: “It is always a surprise what will turn up next in life, but what a thrill it is to be chosen to take over the reins of Opera Europa, certainly the most exciting new direction for me!”

She takes over from the previous director, Nicholas Payne, who led Opera Europa since April 2003. Under his leadership, the organisation grew from 40 Intendants to over 220 organisations, while implementing initiatives like the World Opera Day, OperaVision, the European Opera-directing Prize and the Opera Management Course. Stone is well aware of her predecessor’s legacy, remarking that “Nicholas Payne has done such a marvellous job setting up Opera Europa and developing it into the strong international organisation it has become. I know he will be a hard act to follow, but he is handing over a thriving network of European companies and a marvellous group of professionals in the organisation.”

Payne himself had nothing but praise for his successor: “It has been a privilege and an education to work with such a stimulating group of members over almost two decades. Karen is a consummate professional, who will bring experience, fluent languages, integrity and a sense of humour to the task. I wish her and the Opera Europa team every success in the years ahead.”

Stone will work alongside Audrey Jungers, General Manager of Opera Europa, and their Brussels-based team.



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