"I have been with Kentucky Opera for seven artistically rich years, supported by an extraordinary board and a top-notch professional staff, the likes of which one rarely encounters," she said. "Following my departure, I plan to take some time to pause, reflect and consider my future plans."
During Sandler's tenure, the Lousiville-based company has expanded its education programs, which now reach 40,000 people a year.
"While there is never a good time to lose a highly talented general director, Deborah will be leaving the opera on an upward note," said board president Barbara Sandford, "and planning for the 2005-2006 season will be completed by the time Deborah departs. The state and the community have come to expect and deserve high artistic quality from the Kentucky Opera and in our 2005-2006 season we will maintain that standard. We wish Deborah all the best and are very grateful for everything she has done for Kentucky Opera."
The company's 2005-06 season will include Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Rossini's Barber of Seville, and Mark Adamo's Little Women.
The board has formed a committee to consider its next steps.