Sarasota Opera has announced that Richard Russell’s contract has been extended through the 2025–26 season, and that his job title will change from executive director to general director to better reflect his responsibilities with the company. Russell will continue to collaborate with artistic director and principal conductor Victor DeRenzi in the planning of upcoming seasons.
Russell’s first affiliation with Sarasota Opera began thirty-two years ago, when the young tenor joined the company’s apprentice training program. He sang in subsequent seasons through 1993 as a studio and principal artist. After a career in banking, he returned to the company serving as director of marketing in 2005-2010. After two years as general director of Opera New Jersey, Russell was named Sarasota Opera's executive director in 2012.