Clayton Steps Down at Chicago Opera Theater, Magnus Promoted to General Director

Clayton Steps Down at Chicago Opera Theater, Magnus Promoted to General Director

Pictured: Ashley Magnus

Chicago Opera Theater’s Board of Directors announced today the promotion of Ashley Magnus to the role of General Director, succeeding Douglas R. Clayton who will step down to pursue other opportunities. Previously the company’s General Manager of Strategy and Development, Magnus will join Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya to make COT one of few opera companies led by women at both the board and executive level.

“In her time as General Manager, Ashley executed a successful multimillion dollar capital campaign, tripled recorded planned gifts and grew core annual fundraising by 28%,” said Board President Susan Irion. “She has been an instrumental part of the COT leadership team and played a vital role in the development of the company’s long-term strategic goals. Her work in the industry and at COT positions her perfectly to achieve long-term success as COT’s Edlis Neeson General Director.”

Magnus began her career at Utah Symphony|Utah Opera as Production Coordinator for the opera department, and continued on to hold several leadership positions in events and development, including the role Director of Corporate Partnerships. She went on to earn an M.B.A. from the University of Utah.

“Doug has been a huge asset in strategic planning and in setting the stage for a smooth transition,” said Magnus. “I’m thrilled to take the reins of Chicago Opera Theater in this exciting moment for the organization. Now, more than ever, COT represents the future of opera. We are dedicated to featuring local artists, to performing the work of living composers and to advancing opera as an art form that is forward-thinking, vibrant and very much alive.”

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