The first Black women ever to run a large US opera company has quit as general director of Fort Worth Opera.
Afton Battle was appointed to the post just two years ago. In a parting email she said: ‘We have built The People’s Company. I set out to be dynamic in my leadership and effect change and I feel I have successfully done that.’
But in a midsummer fundraising statement she gave warning of her discontent: ‘Y’all know the challenges of being Black in this world. Magnify that with being a woman running an arts organization in a conservative city and state. Running this company hasn’t been easy, y’all. And [I’m] sure you can guess why.’
Battle had no prior experience of running an opera company.