Susan Mathieson Mayer to leave Lyric
June 26, 2013
Susan Mathieson Mayer to leave Lyric Opera of Chicago
at the end of 2013;
Director of Marketing and Communications since 1988
Susan Mathieson Mayer,
director of Lyric’s marketing and communications department for the past twenty-five
years, has chosen to leave her current position at the end of 2013, Lyric's
general director Anthony Freud announced today.
Mathieson Mayer will work as an independent marketing and communications
consultant for a variety of organizations. She will retain an association with
Lyric, consulting on media-related and marketing projects.
"It is an honor to
work for this great company,” Mathieson Mayer said. “However, I now want flexibility
in my professional career so that I can spend more time with my husband,
Friedrich Mayer, who is retired.”
Freud said that the appointment
process to recruit Mathieson Mayer’s successor is well underway with an
announcement expected within the next several weeks.
“Susan has earned an
international reputation for arts marketing and is widely acknowledged as one
of the leading practitioners in the field today,” Freud said. “She has made a
major contribution to the company during her tenure, and will be greatly missed
by her colleagues, Lyric’s Board of Directors, and the artists. Just as Susan had big shoes to fill when she
succeeded the legendary Danny Newman, so too will Susan’s successor.”
Mathieson Mayer joined
Lyric in 1988 and has the distinction of completely selling out the season for
sixteen consecutive seasons (1989/90 through 2004/2005) – a record unequaled in
the performing arts field. With its 25,000 season ticket holders, Lyric remains
a leader in subscription sales and audience development. Because of Lyric's expanded programming and effective
marketing, Lyric just announced a 15% increase in attendance for its 2012/13
season over the previous season.
Mathieson Mayer has
spearheaded a wide variety of audience-building initiatives for Lyric, as well
as numerous high-profile branding projects for the company, including the 2011
advertising campaign "Long Live Passion,” which featured Lyric's creative
consultant and superstar soprano Renée Fleming; the naming of the Lyric Opera
Bridge; and a series of Lyric Operathon fundraising posters that featured
celebrities ranging from Michael Jordan to Bono.
In 2000, Mathieson Mayer
was named one of the country’s Top 100 Marketers by Advertising Age – the only professional in the arts to be
Prior to joining Lyric, Mathieson
Mayer headed her own arts marketing firm.
She was also director of marketing for the arts festival of the 1986
World’s Fair in Vancouver, where she sold out 102 of the 106 events. While at
the Vancouver Symphony in the 1980s, she built the subscription base to 42,000
– at the time, the largest orchestra subscription audience in the world.