DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Opera will celebrate tonight when it kicks off its 25th season with the world premiere of Il Postino. But the company, and its audience, have another reason to applaud: the announcement this week that Plácido Domingo will stay on as general director at least through the 2012/13 season.

Domingo will star as the poet Pablo Neruda in Daniel Catan’s Il Postino, based on the 1994 film. He has had a role in the company since its founding: He starred in the first production, Otello, in 1986, and became artistic director in 2000 and general director three years later.

“I must say how thrilled I am to continue leading L.A. Opera in the years to come,” said Domingo in a statement. “As an artist who has been committed to the growth and development of L.A. Opera since its earliest days, I find my position here both creatively challenging and deeply rewarding, and I am proud to call this company home.”

He also serves as general director of Washington National Opera.

Domingo’s re-up came with some other changes at the top of the L.A. Opera hierarchy. Stephen Rountree has been named CEO of the company, replacing Marc Stern, who continues to be the chair of the company’s board of directors. Rountree is also the president and CEO of the Music Center.

Additionally, Christopher Koelsch has been named senior vice president and chief operating officer.

Il Postino is part of a scaled-back season for L.A. Opera, as the company is going from the 10 operas and 75 performances in 2009/10 to six operas and 42 shows in the current campaign. Also on the lineup this year is Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, which opens Sept. 26 with Domingo conducting, and the company premiere of Gioacchino Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia.

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