For Immediate Release

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s longtime Director of Development and Operations, Virginia Michalicek, has announced her retirement at the conclusion of the company’s 2014-2015 season.

By the time she retires, Ms. Michalicek will have spent ten years as the seventeen-year-old company’s only staff member responsible for managing all fundraising and administrative efforts.

“Virginia’s influence on the growth and development of the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre is remarkable, and her legacy as an advocate for the company and the art form will leave a lasting impact,” according to board president Kathy Hall.

Artistic Director and Conductor Daniel Kleinknecht said “Virginia has been an extraordinarily talented colleague and partner as we worked together to build this company. She leaves a much stronger organization due to the many lasting relationships she has formed, and I will miss her tremendously.”

During Ms. Michalicek’s tenure, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre presented more than three dozen critically-acclaimed mainstage productions in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas and beyond. Through her efforts, the company received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Iowa Arts Council, and other local foundations.

The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre board of directors has formed a search committee chaired by Ms. Hall, which will begin a national search for an Executive Director to replace Ms. Michalicek.

From mainstage opera to education programs and special events, the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre has been committed to bringing high quality, professional opera to eastern Iowa since 1998. Artists are selected by national audition. In 2013, the company significantly expanded its audience by moving an annual production to the newly-renovated Paramount Theatre, in partnership with Orchestra Iowa. Young Artist performances reach thousands of students each year in various eastern Iowa educational venues as well as outdoor summer productions at Brucemore. The Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre regularly collaborates with Theatre Cedar Rapids and many other area organizations.

Cedar Rapids is one of only about 100 American cities with a professional opera company.



Kathy Hall