University of Kentucky Opera impresario Everett McCorvey has withdrawn from consideration for a post at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and will stay with the program he has built for the last 22 years.
UK President Eli Capiluto announced McCorvey's decision from the stage of the Lexington Opera House Friday night before the opening performance of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's production of The Marriage of Figaro.
"Since my wife and I arrrived in Lexington, we have understood what is expected from the arts at the University of Kentucky," Capiluto said from the stage. "We are so pleased that Alicia and Everett McCorvey have informed us of their decision to stay in Lexington."
McCorvey, a UK voice professor and director of the UK Opera Theatre, said it was important to him to make his decision public before the opera opened to remove an uncertainty surrounding the program. UK is also holding auditions for prospective voice students this weekend, culminating in the Alltech Scholarship Auditions at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Singletary Center for the Arts.
Arts supporters in Lexington were thrown into a frenzy last week when news broke that McCorvey was interviewing for dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at UNC-Greensboro.
"I have been here 22 years, and it's been a wonderful experience," McCorvey said. "It was just a case of seeing what's out there."
McCorvey, who also directs the Lexington-based American Spiritual Ensemble, said the North Carolina school pursued him, and in light of its persistence, he decided to take a look.
"I was stunned and amazed by the outpouring of support from the community," McCorvey said of local reaction to news of the search. "It was an indication that the community wants to grow the arts, and we want to be part of that happening."
UK administrators did not make any specific financial or professional offers to entice McCorvey to stay, he said. But he said they did voice strong support.
"President Capiluto has been supportive, Dean Tick has been supportive," McCorvey said, referring to Michael Tick, dean of the UK College of Fine Arts. "I can't thank them enough and look forward to the possibilities of the arts in Lexington."