A Major Appointment

by tdoadmin

The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce the appointment of John Toia (pronounced: TOY-yuh) as Director of Production for the Dallas Opera. This appointment is effective immediately.

Mr. Toia, a native of Detroit, Michigan, came to the Dallas Opera in August of 2009 to assume the newly created post of Associate Director of Production. As such, he worked closely with former Director of Production John Gage (now retired) and Technical Director Drew Field to facilitate TDO’s move into the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in 2009 and to enable the company to take up residence in our new offices in January of 2010.

Mr. Toia also made significant contributions to the highly successful world premiere production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick last April and assisted in the logistical arrangements for the Dallas Opera’s first-ever simulcast of our 2010 Opening Night production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

“John Toia is the perfect point-person for an organization with thousands of moving parts,” explains General Director and CEO Keith Cerny. “He is intelligent, extremely organized and tech-savvy in his approach to opera production. He has consistently demonstrated a flair for forging great working relationships with artists and craftspeople, both inside and outside the company.

“To top it all off,” Mr. Cerny adds, “John has an excellent sense of humor, as well as a serious work ethic, which makes everyone more willing to go the extra mile. We’re exceptionally lucky to have found him.”

For three decades prior to his involvement with TDO, John J. Toia served on the stage management teams of dozens of notable productions including King John for the New York Shakespeare Festival; Tosca for Opera Carolina; The Night of the Iguana for Tennessee Williams Theatre; Carnal Knowledge for Pasadena Playhouse; All My Sons for the Philadelphia Drama Guild; Moonlight and Valentino for Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston; Oklahoma! for North Carolina Theatre and Girl of the Golden West for Asolo State Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.

Mr. Toia’s extensive theatrical management experience ranges from managing a four-nation tour for a 110-member orchestra to serving as Production Supervisor for two years on a major, new production of West Side Story.

He served as Director of Stage Management (1989-2009) and Assistant Dean to the School of Design and Production (1994-2009) at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There, he collaborated on the creation of a new graduate program in Performing Arts Management, conducted feasibility studies and raised the $100,000 necessary to launch the program. He also spent three years as Production Manager of Piedmont Opera Theatre where Mr. Toia supervised production for a host of operas including La traviata, La bohème, Un ballo in maschera, Tosca, Rigoletto and Otello, the work that launched Dallas Opera performances in the Winspear.

Mr. Toia did his undergraduate studies in Theater and Directing at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University, where he also pursued graduate studies in Theatrical Management and was ultimately honored with a Hilberry Graduate Fellowship.

Soon after, he was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Florida, with an emphasis on Lighting Design and Stage Management.


Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

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