“We have spent the last seven months undergoing an intense period of assessment with support from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Arts Council of Indianapolis, which included a community conversation about the Opera’s role in Indianapolis,” said Arnold C. Hanish, Opera Board President. “We looked at our product, marketing, audience base, fan experience and business model. We gathered input from the community, visited other opera companies in the Midwest, addressed several governance issues and righted our financial ship. The Opera is out of debt and has money in the bank to assist us in moving forward.
“Based upon this community feedback, we have created a three-year plan that grows our partnerships, builds our respected education and outreach programming, and returns opera to Indianapolis,” Hanish continued. “Now that we have addressed our behind-the-scenes issues, we have attracted a respected and experienced Hoosier arts leader to bring us back to the stage.
“Lastly, I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of Carol Baker, our interim director for the last 20 months, who will continue to provide operational support and direction for the company's community programming; and Steven Stolen, who so ably led our community assessment efforts and helped us develop our new direction,” Hanish concluded.
Patterson, a native of Indianapolis and a graduate of Warren Central High School and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, is a passionate evangelist for the power of the creative process to stimulate dialogue and action. His background in business and finance will be a valuable asset to Indianapolis Opera, complementing his substantial artistic experience.
“Though my operatic travels have taken me around the US to many different cities, I am thrilled to be returning to my hometown,” Patterson said. “Indianapolis is a great city with a vibrant arts community. I truly believe that Indianapolis Opera, its mission and vision have much to give the community.”
For more than two decades, Patterson has served the arts as a producer, director, administrator, educator and advocate through his work with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, the Austin Lyric Opera and the Anchorage Opera. His unique style as an artistic director and producer—leveraging art as a catalyst for meaningful communication—has won praise from critics nationally and internationally. Patterson has been a frequent guest lecturer and panelist at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Texas at Austin and Opera America National Conferences. Building connectivity through advocacy, strategic planning and collaborative partnerships, Patterson has consulted with local governments on the economic impact and strategic implications of creative industries in communities.