Questions of Practice: Opera Philadelphia's David Devan on Excellence and Accessibility

Questions of Practice: Opera Philadelphia’s David Devan on Excellence and Accessibility

“I don’t think accessibility is something separate from excellence…it all has to be excellent,” says David Devan, general director and president of Opera Philadelphia, when asked whether or not excellence and accessibility are mutually exclusive. “I don’t want to dumb anything down,” he continues, “I want to smart it up, because people are smarter.”

David Devan, director of Opera Philadelphia, on whether or not excellence and accessibility are mutually exclusive. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on November 17, 2014.

David Devan is general director and president of Opera Philadelphia, where he works on strategic planning initiatives and builds partnerships within the Philadelphia community and the opera world. Opera Philadelphia is the recipient of several Center grants, including the Center’s first Advancement grant. Under Devan’s leadership, Opera Philadelphia has commissioned or co-commissioned eight new operas, including Cold Mountain written by Pew Fellow Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, and Breaking the Waves by Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek, based on the film by Lars von Trier.


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