The Sun Valley Opera announced Friday that Chairman and CEO Edwin Outwater III has resigned from his position after 10 years.

“I am happy to have had the opportunity to serve our community for many years by assisting in the presentation of that most wonderful of musical instruments, the human voice, and to have observed the real joy a live ‘performance’ brings to an audience,” Outwater wrote in his resignation letter to the board of the opera.

In the interim, local resident and longtime opera supporter Kyle Johnson has stepped into the role.

Johnson and his wife, artist Judith Kindler, are full-time residents of the Wood River Valley, having previously split their time between Ketchum and Seattle. Even then, though, Johnson was a dedicated and enthusiastic supporter of the opera.

“Sun Valley Opera has a great history in this community of providing terrific musical events. I in-

tend to maintain and further that tradition, including events during the pandemic that comply with CDC guidelines,” Johnson said.

Like most other organizations, the opera has had to curtail its summer plans amid ongoing coronavirus concerns, but this month will see the group back in action, starting off with a film screening on the Sun Valley Pavilion lawn as the organization’s leaders pursue options for live performance.

In January 2021, the opera will reach its auspicious 20th anniversary. Plans are in development to celebrate that occasion throughout the year.

“We are fortunate to have such creative and strong leadership with Kyle at the helm during this difficult time for the performing arts,” Executive Director Robyn Watson said.

Looking to the coming months, opera co-founder and board President Frank Meyer said, “For the immediate future, the only limitations on music-oriented events are technological, as remote performances are the new order of the day.”

Watson said she feels confident the board is ready for the challenge. Anyone interested in attending or volunteering for future opera events—including this month’s screening of the 2004 film version of “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Pavilion—can contact Watson at rwatson.SVO@gmail.com. Visit sunvalleyopera.com for more information.

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