Search Begins for Heuer Successor

Robert M. Heuer …retiring from Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera (FGO) based in Doral has announced hiring of a search firm and the formation of a search committee to find a replacement for retiring General Director and CEO Robert M. Heuer.

He joined Florida Grand Opera as Director of Production in 1979, became Assistant General Director in 1983 and transitioned to General Director in 1985. As General Director, Mr. Heuer led the effort to merge the Greater Miami Opera and The Opera Guild Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, creating Florida Grand Opera in 1994.

“Bob has been a great general director for 26 seasons, a true leader of the arts community in South Florida,” said Victor Mendelson, FGO President. “Finding a candidate to fill his shoes will be a true challenge.” Heuer remains fully involved in this process with the search committee to assist with the transition.

The committee is chaired by William Hill, vice president and director, along with Peggy Czyzak-Dannenbaum, Per Loof, Alvaro Martinez-Fonts, directors, and Jane Robinson, Board Chairperson. They are joined by Dennis Scholl, Executive Vice President of The Knight Foundation, and former FGO Director Jeff Bartel.

To assist in the search, the committee has engaged Genovese Vanderhoof & Associates, a leading North American search consultant for artistic leadership of opera and ballet. Together with the firm, the committee will undertake an international search for top talent to lead the organization.

The main administrative office for FGO was moved to Doral Center at 8390 NW 25th St. For more information on Florida Grand Opera, visit <> or tel. 305-854-1643.

‘La Traviata’
Charms MIA,
SoBe Festival

Travelers at the Miami International Airport were treated to a surprise performance by Florida Grand Opera singers on Feb. 29, courtesy of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” program.

Six surprise performances among bystanders waiting for flights in terminal D were shortly followed by seven vocalists performing “ Libiamo” (the Drinking Song) from Verdi’s La Traviata, a delightful moment in the busy terminal.

The Florida Grand Opera joined forces with the 2012 Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival to create a flashmob-style operatic performance of the same operatic highlight during the Tribute Dinner presented by Bank of America Feb. 25 at the Loews Miami Beach.

Opera singers cleverly disguised as waiters and also as guests, sitting for dinner among the other attendees, provided unexpected music. Spread throughout the room, singers put down their serving trays and rose from their seats, slowly making their way to the honoree table where guests of honor were serenaded as the music reached its peak, ending in a powerful round of applause. -A. Serna.

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