Baltimore Concert Opera founder to become general director of Opera Delaware
Cooke launched Baltimore Concert Opera three years ago when Baltimore Opera Company started its descent into bankruptcy and liquidation.
A baritone who sang regularly with Baltimore Opera and other companies, Cooke successfully built the new organization with the help of other local singers and opera fans.
There was little money to start, and no guarantee that audiences would come to un-staged performances with only piano accompaniment in the ballroom of the Engineers Club.
But the concept caught on, and the Baltimore Concert Opera has developed a loyal audience.
The organization plans to continue. Cooke will ...
"remain with BCO in an artistic capacity," according to a press release. Co-founder and board member Julia Cooke will become executive director.
Opera Delaware just finished its 67th season. In a statement, the company's board president, Tony Winchester, praised Cooke's "rich experience in administration, operations, fundraising and leadership" and called him "a standout candidate."
Baltimore Concert Opera board president Ben Schuman said he looked forward "to the possibility of creating synergies between the two companies in the future."
For his part, Cooke said in statement released by Opera Delaware that he is "truly humbled" to be chosen for the general director post. "I can’t wait to get started," he added.