Michigan Opera Theatre names Yuval Sharon new artistic director

Yuval Sharon. (Casey Kringlen, MOT)

The Michigan Opera Theatre has named a new artistic director to succeed Dr. David DiChiera, who died in 2018.

Rising opera star Yuval Sharon has been announced as the first-ever Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director. Sharon begins his tenure this October with “Twilight: Gods,” a production of Richard Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” (“Twilight of the Gods”) staged in the Detroit Opera House Parking Center, featuring Christine Goerke. 

The 2021-22 season, Sharon’s first full season as artistic director, will be announced this spring.

The recipient of both a MacArthur Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant in Theatre,  Sharon is among the most in-demand and innovative names in opera today. In addition to making history as the first American invited to direct at Bayreuth, the first director entrusted with one of Meredith Monk’s works, and the director of the first fully-staged opera in the Musikverein’s 150-year history, Sharon is widely known for city-spanning operas staged in moving cars, radically collaborative bulwarks against historical revisionism, and immersive site-specific works with his Los Angeles company, The Industry.

In addition to his appointment at MOT, Sharon will continue his role as Artistic Director of The Industry.

“Even as the performing arts face unprecedented challenges in this country, this moment offers an equally unprecedented opportunity for change—for artists and institutions to re-imagine the future of opera,” says Gary L. Wasserman Artistic Director Yuval Sharon. “Under Wayne Brown’s insightful leadership, with MOT Board President Ethan Davidson’s forward-thinking guidance, and with the advocacy of my friend Gary Wasserman, I see MOT seizing that chance to think in new and creative ways about opera in this city. It is an honor to join them and the rest of the MOT board and staff in charting that future and creating work that speaks specifically to the communities that make Detroit so vibrant.” 

“Yuval shares the drive, vision, and charisma of our beloved founder, David DiChiera, who created an opera company in Detroit against all odds in 1971,” said President and CEO Wayne S. Brown. “Now, as we embark on our 50th anniversary, we look forward to building upon DiChiera’s vision and taking MOT to its next artistic level under Sharon. In the midst of a pandemic, converting a parking center into a performance venue  (while social distancing can be observed) offers further evidence of the creativity that Sharon brings to the art form.”

Tickets for “Twilight: Gods” go on sale to the public at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 9, and can be purchased online, by phone at (313) 237-7464, or in-person at the Detroit Opera House box office (1526 Broadway) from noon until 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Pricing is set at $79 per car and must be purchased in advance of performances.

Dr. David DiChiera, the founder and longtime general director of the Michigan Opera Theatre, died in Sept. 2018 at his home in Detroit after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March 2017.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.