J. Landis Martin, the president of Central City Opera’s Endowment Fund Board and one of CCO’s greatest leaders and benefactors, died Friday at 77.

Lanny Martin’s unwavering dedication and passion for the arts and educational institutions, including his pivotal role at Central City Opera, will forever be remembered and cherished.

His remarkable leadership, generosity and foresight from early years on the Board of Directors, to his role as Chair, and in establishing the Central City Opera Endowment Fund, have been instrumental in the organization’s continued existence and ongoing success.


“Lanny’s passing leaves a profound void in our hearts, and all of us at Central City Opera extend our deepest sympathies to his family, particularly to Sharon. Without a doubt, his legacy will continue to inspire and shape the future of Central City Opera.”

- Scott Finlay, Central City Opera Chief External Affairs Officer


“Lanny set an example for us all for civic engagement and the value of our artistic institutions. We are heartbroken and send our love to Sharon and the entire Martin family.”

- Roopesh Aggarwal, Central City Opera Board Co-Chair


“It is an immense loss to all of us who love and have enjoyed Central City Opera for the last several decades. Lanny, with Sharon, was a superb and wise leader in business and the arts, a perfect gentleman, and the most generous benefactor in our history.

We have had many splendid past leaders, but Central City Opera exists to this day because of the years of support and planning that Lanny and Sharon have provided.”

- James R. Hilger, Jr., Central City Opera Honorary Board


CLICK HERE to remember J. Landis Martin with us through the tribute video made for the 2021 Theatre of Dreams Gala honoring Lanny and Sharon Martin.