Muni, who has led the opera for eight years, is leaving to focus on his directing career. He is slated to direct a world premiere of Lorenzo Ferrero's La Conquista at the National Theatre in Prague next year, and will direct upcoming productions of Show Boat in Bern, Switzerland, and Tosca in Efurt, Germany, during the next year.
"While I'm extremely excited about these opportunities and look forward to launching the next phase of my career, it was a difficult decision to leave this outstanding company and its incredibly welcoming and sophisticated family of supporters," Muni said in a statement.
During his tenure at the opera company, Muni expanded the company's summer season, launched an $8 million capital and endowment campaign, and oversaw 12 company premieres, including the upcoming Margaret Garner, a collaboration between composer Richard Danielpour and novelist Toni Morrison.
Muni will serve as artistic advisor for the company through August 2005, but will not direct any of the upcoming season's productions. A search for his replacement has yet to begin.