Debuting Houston Grand Opera’s New CEO

In late 2021, Houston Grand Opera (HGO) announced Khori Dastoor as its new general director and CEO. She began full-time in January 2022 and made history as HGO’s first female CEO and first CEO of color. Dastoor would be responsible for bringing opera audiences back to the theatre after two years of virtual performances.
Elmore designed a campaign plan with the goals of positioning Dastoor as an exciting new leader/someone to watch as she set a new direction for HGO and building connections with media to drive coverage and ultimately attendance for the operas. The campaign strategies included fostering relationships with Houston arts and culture media through one-on-one meetings and a season announcement event at the HGO Costume Shop as well as with one-on-meetings with influential arts leaders.
Over the course of several months, Elmore executed the campaign by arranging one-on-one meetings between Dastoor and arts and culture reporters; conceiving of and planning a season preview party at which the season lineup would be unveiled and reporters and young professionals would have the chance to meet Dastoor in person; earning feature coverage on Dastoor and the season lineup; and arranging meetings between Dastoor and many Houston arts leaders.
In the months following, two important outlets profiled Dastoor as the opera’s new leader. Houston Chronicle published its feature entitled, “Khori Dastoor brings performing and business experience to role as HGO general director,” and PaperCity published its feature, “Transforming the Houston Grand Opera — Inside the Leadership Plan of New CEO Khori Dastoor.” These pieces sustained the opera’s visibility into the actual season of performances.
Ultimately, the success of each of these tactics means Houston Grand Opera’s current and potential audiences became more aware of the organization’s new leadership and dynamic programming offered in the 2022-2023 season. The opera’s first season back in-person following two years of virtual offerings, ticket sales were higher in the 2022-2023 season than in any of the previous 10 years, attributed in large part to the buzz Elmore generated around Dastoor and the season lineup.

Planning: 1 month 
Implementation: 4 months


Campaign Planning
Executive Communications 
Media Relations 


18 one-on-one meetings 
18 media placements
$5M audience reach
$578,000 publicity value  
PRSA Gold Excalibur Award 
IABC Bronze Quill Award of Excellence 

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