Seattle Opera announced today that its general director, Aidan Lang, will depart at the end of its current season in 2019. Lang will become the general director of the Welsh National Opera. He began his opera career there in 1985 as a staff director. "It's my artistic home," Lang says, "and the only other company for which I would consider departing Seattle."
Lang was appointed Seattle Opera's third general director in 2014, after a two year search, and upon starting he swiftly changed the company. He was at the forefront of its mission shift toward more equitable productions, such as last month's Porgy and Bess, and the company's attempts to woo younger audiences. The opera says millennials in the audience have nearly quadrupled under Lang's leadership, and main stage attendance increased by over 18,000 from the 2014 season to the 2017 season.
Seattle Opera will create a committee to search for Lang's replacement soon.