Ron, Kay McDougall donate $2 million to Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera has announced a $2 million gift from Kay and Ron McDougall in support of Arizona Opera’s new RED Series, which will now bear their name.

Ron and Kay McDougall. (Photo Courtesy of Arizona Opera)

The McDougall gift will support the annual presentation of two artistic offerings that comprise the company’s new fall season, according to a press release.

The McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series launches in Fall 2018 with Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly.

The creation of the RED Series was announced this past fall as part of a comprehensive shift in Arizona Opera’s season model, which will deepen the company’s investment in new works, alongside productions of classic operas. International-caliber casts will support all of these works.

The McDougall RED Series will take the stage each fall in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe St. and in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art.

Arizona Opera will present its Main Stage Season each winter and spring in the company’s traditional venues: Symphony Hall, 75 N. Second St. in Phoenix, and the Tucson Music Hall.

“We are excited by Arizona Opera’s expansive vision and leadership, and believe in the potential of the RED Series to help build stronger, more connected communities through the art form of opera,” Mr. McDougall said in a prepared statement.

Mr. McDougall, former chairman and CEO of Brinker International Inc., previously served on the Dallas Opera board, a press release states.

Mrs. McDougall, who sits on the Arizona Opera Board, said: “What I have learned as a first-year board member is that Arizona Opera is on a mission to bring something thrilling to the state, and to become one of the most exciting opera companies in the country. We are honored to help bring the RED Series to life.”

Joseph Specter, president and general director of Arizona Opera, said he is grateful for the McDougall’s support.

“The gift from Ron and Kay is an extraordinary vote of confidence in our strategic direction as we strive toward making our greatest contribution to Arizona’s arts and culture sector, which is such a crucial factor for any state’s quality of life and prospects for economic development,” he said in a prepared statement

John Johnson, Arizona Opera board chair, said he was also grateful for the donation and Mrs. McDougall’s participation with the company.

“Ron and Kay’s gift is powerful confirmation that we live in a state where remarkable philanthropy for the arts can be inspired when an organization places serving the community with artistic vibrancy at the center of its vision,” he said in a prepared statement.

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