Bankston has been the company's artistic director since 2001.
The new position includes managerial duties that were previously seen to by president Mark Light, who steps down at the end of the year, and executive director Dione Kennedy, who has been named interim president of the Victoria Theatre Association, the opera company's parent organization.
Bankston has been with the company for nine years, and has previously worked at the Cincinnati Opera.
The Dayton Opera, founded 40 years ago, was assimilated into the umbrella organization of the Victoria Theatre Association in 1998. At that point, the company was near bankruptcy; under Light's direction, its revenues doubled. In 2003, the company moved into the new $121 million Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center.