Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lisa Middleton to become Lyric's director of marketing

For Immediate Release:
July 26, 2013  


Lisa Middleton, head of marketing at Canada’s Stratford Festival, to become
director of marketing for Lyric Opera of Chicago on October 15, 2013.

Lisa Middleton  

Lisa Middleton, director of marketing for Canada’s renowned Stratford Festival since 2002, will become Lyric Opera of Chicago’s director of marketing on October 15, 2013, Lyric’s general director Anthony Freud announced today.

Middleton will be responsible for Lyric’s marketing, communications, and box-office operations. She succeeds longtime communications director Susan Mathieson Mayer, who announced in June that she will leave Lyric at the end of 2013 to pursue independent consulting.  

Middleton is responsible for generating more than $36 million in annual sales for the internationally acclaimed festival, with ticket sales that will top 460,000 for

the current season, which runs April 23-Oct. 20 and includes 12 plays and musicals. A native of Toronto, the 43-year-old Middleton is an award-winning marketing and development professional with more than 19 years of experience in the not-for- profit arena.

Middleton was chosen after an international search and comes to Lyric with impressive expertise in revenue management, direct marketing, advertising, promotions, retail operations, and social and digital media. Middleton has won particular acclaim for bringing the Stratford Festival to the forefront of social media and new digital media technologies through her innovative approach to online marketing. She has broad experience working in U.S. markets; as much as 30% of the festival’s attendance is generated from the United States.

Anthony Freud said, “I am delighted to welcome Lisa to Lyric as our new marketing director. She has a tremendous track record of achievement, and is widely respected in the field. These are times of rapid change and great challenge in marketing and communicating about our activities, and it is essential that we maintain and build on Lyric’s longstanding excellence in these areas. In Lisa, we have an experienced professional of great accomplishment.”

“I am so pleased to be joining Lyric Opera of Chicago – an outstanding organization with an incredible artistic reputation and an impressive legacy in audience development,” Middleton said. “My family and I look forward to the move to Chicago and immersing ourselves in one of the leading cultural cities of the world. I’m excited about the great challenge ahead in bringing Lyric to the forefront of social and digital media, and contributing to the new strategic direction as set by Lyric’s board of directors. And of course I adore opera; I’ve subscribed to the Canadian Opera Company and attended Opera Atelier (Toronto’s baroque ensemble) for several years.”

Prior to assuming the top marketing job at Stratford, Middleton served as the theater festival’s associate director of membership (2001-2002). Her professional experience prior to Stratford included development and marketing-related positions with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1999-2001), Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation (1996-1999), the Kidney Foundation of Canada (1995-1996), and the Canadian Diabetes Association (1994-1996).

Middleton has received several honors for her accomplishments at Stratford, the most recent being the Canadian Marketing Award (CMA) for her sales campaign for Jesus Christ Superstar.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and statistics from Toronto’s York University. Her early music studies included trumpet and band; she is currently studying the piano. 

Middleton’s husband is a businessman and they have a young daughter.