The promotion, which comes two months after artistic director Nicholas Muni announced that he would step down, gives Beggs added responsibility for the company's artistic operations. Nevertheless, the company plans to hire a new artistic director.
"While I'm passionate about opera and have devoted my career to advancing the art form," Beggs said in a statement, "I am not an artist. While some general directors in our industry also wear an artistic hat, my focus is on strategic planning, institutional development, and the management of our operations and finances."
Muni has agreed to remain as artistic advisor though August 2005. In addition, the company has hired Evans Mirageas, a freelance artistic advisor who has worked with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Cori Ellison, the influential New York City Opera dramaturg, to provide assistance with artistic planning.
Cincinnati Opera, the second-oldest opera company in the United States, stages a month-long summer season each year.