WILMINGTON, Del. – OperaDelaware has appointed Jason Hardy to the newly created position of Managing Director, effective Sept. 1, it was announced today.

Hardy, 42, joined OperaDelaware in 2013 as Director of Development and Community Engagement.  Under his leadership, the company was awarded more than $600,000 in transformational private foundation support and saw record-breaking levels of individual donations.  In this expanded role, Hardy will continue to oversee the company's fundraising efforts while taking on new responsibilities in the day-to-day operations of OperaDelaware including administrative and artistic functions.

“Thanks in large part to Jason’s work, OperaDelaware is on a new path toward sustained growth and success,” said Brendan Cooke, OperaDelaware’s General Director. “With his background in business and as a major operatic talent, this new position will ensure that Jason is utilized at the highest and best use for OperaDelaware.  This, in turn, allows me to work more intimately with our board, our major donors and the opera world at large to ensure OperaDelaware’s future as a major opera festival.”

While preparing for the most artistically ambitious season in OperaDelaware’s history, the leadership team has shored up the company's finances and has secured long-term financing for the Riverfront facility, which has undergone extensive renovation.  They have also implemented several significant internal changes including the migration of the entire patron database into a more flexible ticketing platform.

An accomplished small business leader, Hardy also was a highly acclaimed principal artist on the opera stage. Over his 18-year career as a singer, Hardy performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and The Kennedy Center.  He has sung with the New York City Opera, Opéra de Montréal, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Hardy holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta.  He also earned a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University.  Hardy lives in North Wilmington with his wife Carrie and their two children.

“It has been exciting to share OperaDelaware’s story with so many of my colleagues and I’m looking forward to doing even more in my new role,” Hardy said.  “Word of what we are doing is getting out, and we know that’s going to generate great interest in our upcoming spring festival.”

OperaDelaware's spring 2016 festival will feature performances of two fully staged productions at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, including the East Coast Premiere of Franco Faccio's Hamlet and Giuseppe Verdi's masterpiece Falstaff. Both are adapted by librettist Arrigo Boito, from William Shakespeare's plays.  

Hamlet (1865) is one of the great musicological discoveries of our generation, and has received a nomination from the International Opera Awards in the Rediscovered Work category. The opera will be conducted by Maestro Anthony Barrese using a critical edition of the score, which he reconstructed from Faccio's autograph manuscript.


OperaDelaware, the nation's 11th oldest professional opera company, celebrates its 71st season in 2015-2016. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people in the Mid-Atlantic region through meaningful arts education and the production of grand opera and intimate opera concerts, featuring established professional and emerging talent.