Ian Derrer ’96 remembers fetching coffee and chauffeuring visiting talent as a vocal performance student with an internship at The Dallas Opera. Now, as general director and chief executive officer, his responsibilities include overseeing the company’s fiscal health and steering its artistic direction.
In his new position, Derrer says he still relies on skills he picked up as a TDO intern and as a vocal performance student at SMU all those years ago.
“Certainly because of the voice teachers I had at SMU, I really have a great appreciation and keenness to be able to listen for technique in singers,” he says. “But in addition to those musical proficiencies and skills, Meadows really gave me a robust picture of the arts. I loved my history classes. I was able to take orchestral conducting. I loved art history classes, too. My education there helped expand my mind. All of that is enormously helpful in this role.”