Opera Company of Philadelphia is closing a five-year void left by the late Jack Mulroney, who died in the fall of 2004, with the appointment of David B. Devan to fill Mulroney's post as executive director of the company.

Since 2004, the executive director title has been held by Robert B. Driver, who was artistic director before Mulroney's death, and who will reassume that position now. Devan arrived at OCP in January 2006 as managing director, having been executive director of Pacific Opera Victoria for nine years.

"Our plan was to find a candidate who could naturally move into the position of executive director, allowing me to focus more on the artistic production in collaboration with [music director] Corrado Rovaris," said Driver.

"David's extensive background in the business of opera management has made him an invaluable asset. We're steering through difficult financial waters."

Devan's most visible achievement in his three years with OCP has been negotiating the partnership among OCP, the Curtis Institute of Music and Kimmel Center Presents to produce staged operas of specialized repertoire in the Perelman Theater. This year, that partnership produced Berg's Wozzeck; next year's production will be Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra.

Devan also is credited with the education department's Hip H'Opera in collaboration with the Arts Sanctuary's after-school program. In addition, he raised $5 million in a special fund to enhance artistic goals amid greater competition from the Metropolitan Opera's movie-theater simulcasts.