Johanna Dordick, who founded Los Angeles Opera Theatre and guided it through six seasons at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, has resigned as artistic director. A company spokesman cited “differences with the board of directors on policy and administration” as the official reason for Dordick’s surprise move.
Music director Henry Holt, who has been named acting artistic director, said that preparations for the company’s seventh season--its first at the Wiltern Theater--will proceed as planned.
Reached at her home Friday, Dordick refused any comment.
Board president Ed Kaufman said problems between Dordick and the board “had become intolerable from her point of view. Opera Theatre has become more of an enterprise in the business sense.” Friction developed during a period of months, he said, concerning “how Johanna wanted to operate vis-a-vis how the board wanted to operate. She is strong-willed, and so are we.” Kaufman added that none of the differences “involved the artistic field.”
Holt said he had spoken to Dordick on Friday. “She felt it was the right move,” he said. “All attempts to resolve the problem had already been made.” Although Holt is officially listed as an honorary director of the company, having begun his association during the first season in 1980, he could offer no clues as to the rift. “She didn’t want me to become drawn into the situation,” he said.
According to Kaufman, no plans have been made concerning a permanent director for the company. He would not rule out Holt as a candidate.
The company is scheduled to open the 1985-86 season at the Wiltern in July with a new production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.”