Press Releases

2015 FETE

Contact: Sara Madden
215-893-9456 ext. 102 |

March, 2015

Philadelphia - The Wilma Theater will hold its annual Theater Lovers Fête on Monday, April 27 at 5:00pm, honoring David B. Devan, General Director and President of Opera Philadelphia, with the Wilma Star Award. Guests will experience an exquisite evening of good cheer, remarkable performances, an exciting live auction, and an unforgettable night of dinner, dessert, and dancing.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 5:00pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton’s Roof Deck on 5 followed by dinner and dessert. Guests will then be guided to The Wilma Theater for performances by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret and a guest appearance by baritone Jared Bybee. The evening will also include an award ceremony, a live auction, and dancing with music provided by DJ Aqueous.  

The Wilma Theater is thrilled to honor David B. Devan, General Director and President of Opera Philadelphia, with the Wilma Star Award for his innovative spirit and inspiration to the Greater Philadelphia cultural community. David has:

  • Transformed production and organizational models in the performing arts world to ensure live performance for generations to come;
  • Conducted extensive audience-based research and openly shared his findings to the benefit of all organizations in the greater Philadelphia community;
  • Led the region’s cultural community as Chair of the Board of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance;
  • Served as an advisor and mentor to Wilma Artistic Director Blanka Zizka and Managing Director James Haskins as the Wilma seeks to transform its own models and audience engagement strategies.

David B. Devan joined Opera Philadelphia in January 2006 and was appointed General Director of the company in 2011. Since his arrival, David has worked closely with board and administration on strategic planning initiatives and building partnerships within the community and the opera world.

Key achievements include the establishment of the Aurora Series for Chamber Opera at the Perelman Theater, an extremely popular and highly-subscribed opera series at the Kimmel Center's intimate 550-seat Perelman Theater; the establishment of the nation's first ever collaborative Composer in Residence Program with New York partners Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, a comprehensive program funded by a $1.4 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, designed to foster the growth of tomorrow's great operatic composers; and the creation of the American Repertoire Program in 2011, committing to produce an American work in ten consecutive seasons, solidifying Opera Philadelphia’s role as a national leader in the creation of new works.

Under David’s leadership, Opera Philadelphia has commissioned or co-commissioned eight new operas, including Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette Wimberly, and starring Lawrence Brownlee, which makes its World Premiere in June; OSCAR, based on the life of Oscar Wilde and written by Theodore Morrison and John Cox, co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera; and COLD MOUNTAIN, based on the best-selling novel by Charles Frazier and written by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer, also co-commissioned with The Santa Fe Opera, which makes its East Coast Premiere in February.

As former Chair of the Board of Directors for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and a member of the Opera America board, David is privileged to serve in a city with rich and diverse cultural roots. He continues to work tirelessly to make opera as an important part of our community.

Marlene S. Molinoff serves as Chair of the Theater Lovers Fête Committee. Proceeds from the Theater Lovers Fête will support the Wilma’s mission to create living, adventurous art.

Sponsorships, tickets, and ads can be purchased by calling 215-893-9456 x124 or at


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