LSM Newswire

Monday, December 16, 2013

Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard at the Opéra de Montréal in May 2016

For immediate release

Les Feluettes by Michel Marc Bouchard at the Opéra de Montréal in May 2016

Montréal, December 16, 2013 – The Opéra de Montréal is pleased to announce an all-new project for the world premiere of a opera from Quebec in May 2016: Les Feluettes (Lilies), after the play by Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, set to music by Australian composer Kevin March. This project marks the Quebec dramatist’s first foray into the world of opera, and a third world premiere for the Opéra de Montréal, after Nelligan (1990) and Thérèse Raquin (2002). The Opéra de Montréal will soon be inviting the media to a press conference at which the playwright and some artists will be in attendance, and during which complete details will be announced.

Preview: an early-stage workshop

Artistic Director Michel Beaulac adds: “A leading work of Quebec theatre, Les Feluettes, with its lyricism and dramatic power, simply called out for an opera version. The call has been heard. Building on the strengths of Michel Marc Bouchard’s libretto and Kevin March’s music, our company, through this world premiere, will play a part in the rebirth our art form is enjoying at the dawn of the 21
st century.”


In 1952, a group of prisoners led by Simon confine a bishop named Bilodeau, performing a play for him, thereby relating a series of events that took place forty years earlier, when Simon and Bilodeau were at school together in Roberval, in the Lac St-Jean region.

Much like a trial, the aim of this confinement is to get Bilodeau to admit to a crime he committed, and for which Simon was unjustly condemned, at a time when he was in love with Vallier de Tilly, a young, ruined French aristocrat exiled with his mother to Quebec.

This theatrical mise en abyme—a play within a play—, in which men alone perform both the male and female roles, has captured the public’s imagination the world over with its theatrical qualities and emotional resonance.


Premiering in Montreal in 1987, directed by André Brassard, with a revival staged in 2002 by director Serge Denoncourt (Prix de l’Académie du Théâtre québécois, 2002), the play has been produced over 50 times throughout the world. It was presented at a number of festivals, including the Avignon, Dublin, and Limoges festivals. It enjoyed a run of over three months at Théâtre du Ranelagh in Paris. It is part of the repertory of the Los Endebles company in Mexico City and of Studio Life in Tokyo, where it is frequently re-staged.

In 1996, Canadian film director John Greyson directed a film adaptation of the play, called LILIES (Genie Award for Best Canadian Film of 1996).

Premiering in Antwerp in 2011, the Flemish musical LELIES, inspired by the play, won the 2012 award for best musical in Belgium; it will be remounted in Belgium and in Holland in 2015.


Playwright, screenwriter, and exhibition curator Michel Marc Bouchard has written some twenty plays including Les Feluettes (Lilies), Les Muses orphelines (The Orphan Muses), L’Histoire de l’oie (The Tale of Teeka), Le Chemin des passes dangereuses (Down Dangerous Passes Road), and, most recently, Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm) and Christine, la reine-garçon (The Girl King). His works, translated into more than ten languages, have been performed in major theatres in Quebec, Canada, and abroad, as well as at some of the most renowned international festivals. A recipient of the National Arts Centre Award, the Chalmers Award, the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Prix de l’Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre, the Primo Arte Candoni, and the Prix de SACD (Paris), he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a Knight of the Order of Quebec in 2012.

His plays Les Feluettes (Lilies – Genie for Best Film, 1996), Les Muses orphelines, L’Histoire de l’oie (Gémeau for Best Dramatic Work, 1998), Les Grandes chaleurs, and Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm – Critics Award, Venice Film Festival) have been adapted for the screen. The Girl King will be presented at the prestigious Stratford Festival in 2014, and will be adapted for the screen by Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki.

For additional information on Les Feluettes and Michel Marc Bouchard, please see


Kevin March is an award-winning Australian composer whose works have been performed In North America, Europe, and Australia by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, the Ironwood Ensemble, Halcyon, The Arcko Ensemble, ASTRA Chamber Music Society, Chronology Arts, Brave New Works, and The New York City Opera. Kevin received 1st Prize in the 2010 3MBS National Composer Awards for his orchestral work Kambarang, and the 2009 Dorian La Galliene Prize for his chamber work Ophélie. Recent commissions include Beautiful Apocalypse, a multi-media chamber opera based on the life of Joachim of Fiore and the 2012 apocalypse, for the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble; Ouvre-moi la Porte, commissioned for Neal Perez de Costa and Daniel Yeadon by The Sydney Conservatorium and Ars Musica Australia for the 100
th anniversary of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music; and Tango & Terror, written for violinist Sara Curro. In April, 2014, a concert comprised of his Catalogue des Papillons (a large cycle for solo piano) and Mythweaver (a song-cycle for soprano and piano based on the poetry of Sappho) will included in Melbourne’s 2014 Metropolis Festival. His works have been broadcast on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and 3MBS radio, and excerpts from his song-cycle Mythweaver were featured in the ABC National documentary Modern Muses: The Greeks and New Music.

Kevin was born and raised in the United States and completed his Masters and Doctorate at the University of Michigan before moving to Melbourne in 2004. While at the University of Michigan, his principal composition instructors were William Bolcom, William Albright, Michael Daugherty and Curtis Curtis-Smith. Since his move to Australia he has been mentored by or has studied under notable Australian composers Richard Mills, Gerard Brophy, Maria Grenfel, and Paul Stanhope. He currently teaches composition and music theory at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Canadian Brass in Mooredale Concert Debut April 27 2014



“Breathtaking...superhuman musicianship” –

The vivacious and virtuosic Canadian Brass bring the 2013-14 Mooredale Concerts season to a rousing close, Sunday, April 27, 3:15 p.m.  Tickets are selling fast already, so music lovers are advised to order now. 

Subscriptions for the 2014-15 season will also go on sale April 27.

The most famous brass ensemble on the planet makes its Mooredale Concerts debut, at MacMillan Theatre in the Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent (Museum subway).  Tickets, $40 general admission; under age 30, only $20, are available online, or by calling 416-922-3714 ext. 103. 

In a program that matches spontaneity and humour with brilliant performances, Canadian Brass regales its audience with classical music by Bach, Scheidt, Schumann, Kamen and Ewald, along with stunning popular arrangements of Gershwin, Fats Waller and more.

The vivacity and breathtaking skill of the Canadian Brass has captivated audiences throughout the world.  Their discography of more than 100 albums has sold over two million worldwide – with the recent Stars & Stripes: Canadian Brass Salute America spending eight weeks in Billboard Classical Chart‘s Top 25 in 2010, peaking at No. 2.  More information is available at

MUSIC & TRUFFLES:  What better way to end a spectacular season than with the world's foremost horn players who are known for their fun and energetic shows?  Canadian Brass will have young audiences 6-15 tapping their feet, dancing in their seats and having an hour of fun at Music & Truffles, Sunday, April 27, 1:15 p.m. at the MacMillan Theatre.  Tickets, only $13, are available online at, or by calling 416-922-3714 ext. 103.  Adults wishing to learn more about music and music-making are also welcome.  Everyone receives a chocolate truffle at the end.

Mooredale Concerts thanks Intercontinental Hotels, the Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils, and Classical 96.3FM for their support and sponsorship. 

Canadian Brass
Sunday, April 27, 3:15 P.M. at the MacMillan Theatre
Holborne: Muy Linda Scheidt: Wendet Euch Um Ihr Aderlein, Galliard Battaglia
J.S. Bach/arr. Mills: Toccata and Fugue
Schumann/arr. Coletti/Ridenour: Selections from “Carnaval” Op. 9
Kamen: Quintet 
Waller/arr. Henderson: Mostly Fats (Looking Good Feeling Bad, Handful of Keys)
Traditional/arr. Henderson: Amazing Grace
Ewald: Selections from Symphony for Brass
Gershwin/arr. Henderson: Ain't Necessarily So
Kompanek: Killer Tango
Bizet/arr. Mills: Suite from “Carmen”

Also: a one-hour interactive performance at Music & Truffles: a concert for young people 6-15, April 27 at 1:15 p.m. at MacMillan Theatre

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Violinist Emmanuel Vukovich & Parcival Strings Project plays Haydn Bach and klezmer music


“A great, a real musician. Thank you for this unforgettable moment." – Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor

Brahms’ profound Clarinet Quintet, one of his last and most important works, shares a program with a Haydn quartet, Bach violin sonata and traditional Georgian and klezmer music when the Montreal-based Parcival Strings Project debuts at Mooredale Concerts, Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. at Walter Hall, 80 Queen’s Park Crescent (Museum subway), Toronto.

Tickets, $30, or $20 for under age 30are available online, or by calling 416-922-3714 ext. 103. 

The Parcival Project describes itself as an international chamber music collective striving for excellence in music making. It rejoices in collaboration and a search for artistic quality through performances of both traditional and evolving musical tradition.  This group has toured widely and been received with overwhelming responses.  More info is available at

Founder and artistic director Montreal-basedviolinist Emmanuel Vukovich returns to Mooredale Concerts, where he first performed in a violin-piano recital in 2007.  Vukovich has performed around the globe with such artists as violinist Ida Haendel, cellist Matt Haimovitz, and Mooredale Concerts’ artistic director, pianist Anton Kuerti. 

Joining him for the February 23 concert will be violinist Victor Fournelle-Blain (winner, 2012 Prix d’Europe), violist Marina Thibeault(Les Violons du Roy), cellist Julia MacLaine (Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), and clarinetist Dominic Desautels (principal clarinet, Symphony Nova Scotia; made solo debut in Mozart’s Clarinet Concert at age 21).

Besides the Brahms clarinet quintet, their program features one of Haydn’s “Sun Quartets” – the String Quartet No. 25 in C, Op. 20 No. 2,and Emmanuel Vukovich performing Bach’s Sonata for Solo Violin in A minor, BWV 1003.  Bookending the concert are a traditional Georgian Folk Song set by Hamlet Gonashvili and arranged by Julia MacLaine; and Budget Bulgar by Russian-born composer/violist Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin.

MUSIC & TRUFFLES:  The Parcival Strings Project gives young audiences 6-15 a one-hour interactive and educational version of its Mooredale Concerts performance, at Music & Truffles, Sunday, February 23, 1:15 p.m. at Walter Hall.  Tickets, $13, are available online, or by calling 416-922-3714 ext. 103.  Adults wishing to learn more about music and music-making are also welcome.  Everyone receives a chocolate truffle at the end,

The Parcival Strings Project
Sunday, February 23, 2014, 3:15 P.M. at Walter Hall
Hamlet Gonashvili, arr. by Julia MacLaine: Traditional Georgian Folk Song
Haydn: String Quartet No. 25 in C, Op. 20 No. 2
Bach: Sonata for Solo Violin in A minor, BWV 1003
Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor
Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin: Budget Bulgar

Also: performing a one-hour interactive performance at Music & Truffles: a concert for young people 6-15, February 23 at 1:15 p.m.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

14 year old Anastasia Rizikov Wins 13th Giuliano Pecar International Piano Competition


December 3, 2013


TORONTO, ON - Ukrainian-Canadian pianist 14-year old Anastasia Rizikov has received first place in the 13th Giuliano Pecar International Piano Competition, adding to her already impressive list of musical accolades and accomplishments.  This competition, under the artistic direction of Siavush Gadjiev, offers first place prize money of 5,000 Euros (approximately $7200 Canadian), and four recitals: the International Music Festival “Nei suoni dei luoghi”; the Centro sloveno di educazione musicale “Emil Komel; the Università Bocconi di Milano (2014 season), and at the Kawai Halle, Krefeld, in Germany.  The second prize winner was Chen Guang, 19, of China, and third prize was split between Charles Offenstein, 30, of France, and Zamira Kumarzhanova, 25, of Kazakhstan.

Despite her young age, Rizikov chose to participate in the longer, more grueling competition category that was open to all pianists under the age of 35; she was the only competitor under the age of 20 in this category. Competitors were required to prepare three unique concert programs, showcasing a total of 95 minutes of music over a duration of three rounds.

Miss Rizikov performed monumental works such as Balakirev’s Islamey: an Oriental Fantasy and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 Appassionata.  Her programs also included classic works such as Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23, and Granados’ Allegro de Concierto, in addition to technical masterpieces like Liszt’s concert etude La Leggierezza.  Upon her win, Anastasia said, “I am truly overwhelmed to be a winner.  I was glad to be back in Europe; this continent treats me well, and I have wonderful memories.  I had the great opportunity to meet and converse with much more experienced musicians, from whom I have so much to learn.  The Giuliano Pecar competition has been an amazing instructive experience for me, and I am determined to work and continue improving myself as an artist.”

No stranger to the concert stage, Anastasia began her career as a professional pianist at the age of seven, performing Polunin’s Concertino in A minor with the National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine. Miss Rizikov has performed in Carnegie Hall and has won first place in numerous competitions such as the Rotary International Piano Competition in Spain (Senior Division – up to 28 years), the Vladimir Horowitz International Young Pianists Competition, and the 8thThousand Islands Chopin International Piano Competition for Young People.  Nationally in Canada, she has taken first place in both the Canadian Music Competition and the Canadian Chopin Competition.

Anatasia has been the lucky recipient of a generous donation from the Glenn Gould Foundation in the form of a Yamaha C1 grand piano, to encourage excellence in her artistic development and further develop her career as a professional pianist.

For more information, please visit

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Monday, December 2, 2013

COC Commissions New Opera by Composer Rufus Wainwright

For immediate release, December 2, 2013
Hadrian Scheduled for World Premiere in COC's 2018/2019 Season
Read the PDF version here.
Read about Canadian Opera Company World Premieres.

Toronto – Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company, today released details of the company’s new opera commission, Hadrian, composed by internationally acclaimed Canadian-American singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright with libretto by award-winning Canadian actor, director and playwright Daniel MacIvor. Inspired by the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his love for Antinous, Hadrian is currently in development and is scheduled to open the COC’s 2018/2019 mainstage season.
Set at the end of the classical era, Hadrian tells the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his profound grief at the death of his lover Antinous. Hadrian’s relationship with Antinous, a young man in his entourage, was frowned upon by many in his inner circle. In fact, during this period of the most critical changes in religious history – the rise of monotheism in the face of the end of the old pagan deities – Hadrian’s love for Antinous was not only discouraged, it was dangerous. When Antinous drowns in the Nile at the height of their love affair, many questions arise about the nature of his death. Hadrian offers answers to those questions and in turn raises more questions about self-sacrifice, jealousy, treachery and love itself.
“We began the process of creating a new opera for the Canadian Opera Company several years ago, and I’m very proud to say that we are now at the stage where we can make the news public,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “Bringing a world premiere to the COC’s mainstage is a significant undertaking for the company and we’re proud to say that all the elements are now in place to make a strong project. Rufus and I have been talking about what Hadrian would look like for at least three years now and I’m very excited about the musical and dramatic direction that this piece will take.”
Hadrian will be Wainwright’s second opera. “I’m thrilled to be setting out on this epic journey with the COC and look forward to once again diving into the deep end, a requirement on all fronts in the world of opera,” Wainwright says.
Of WainwrightNeef says, “Rufus has such incredible passion for opera, and he brings a genuine desire to contribute to the art form and the future of opera. That’s an especially rare quality and an essential one, in order to create a meaningful piece of art that lives on long after its premiere.” Neefadds, “Rufus writes very well for the voice, but what has impressed me so much is that he writes with a completely different musical vocabulary for opera than for his other writings. I’m looking forward to seeing how his musical language will translate to Hadrian.”
“The story of Hadrian and Antinous has long fascinated me,” explains Rufus Wainwright, on his enthusiasm for the opera’s subject. “Be it through initially reading Marguerite Yourcenar’s classic novel Memoirs of Hadrian, going further afield in investigating the history surrounding his reign – arguably one of the most critical periods in the western time line since it represents the end of the classical era – or most importantly visiting Tivoli, Hadrian’s villa near Rome, which, though crumbling, impressively illustrates the might and vision of an incredible man. He was an Emperor filled with ambition, sensitivity and intelligence and like all big political figures he also had a tormented and brooding dark side. Perfect opera material.”
Wainwright adds, “And then there’s Antinous, essentially the male equivalent to Helen of Troy – though we know he actually existed and exactly what he looked like. At one point he was neck and neck with Christ in terms of cult status after disappearing in the Nile. Imagine what a different world that would have been if he had lived!”
Of Daniel MacIvor, who makes his debut as a librettist with HadrianNeef says, “You can’t have a great opera without a great libretto. Finding a great librettist is critical and I’m delighted that Daniel has joined this project. Hadrian will be the first opera he has written, making the occasion of this commission even more momentous. He comes with a fresh perspective on how this opera can take dramatic shape. It’s an exciting pairing. Daniel is as articulate, sharp and passionate about developing this story through words as Rufus is about using music.”
For MacIvor, writing an opera was almost a surprise. “If someone had told me a year ago that I would be writing a libretto, I would not have believed them. But as I investigated the form I began to see how my writing could serve it. The very soul of the libretto is the idea that rigorous economy of language will expose the essential beauty of that language. Initially I was concerned that my lack of knowledge in the form would be a detriment to finding my way, but under the assured tutelage of Alexander and surrounded by the rapturous passion of Rufus for opera, my initiation has been muscular and swift.”
“There is a thrill for me in finding the essential function of the fewest words possible in the telling of a story,” MacIvor continues. “And what a story to tell! The deeper I delve into Hadrian’s world and his time, the more parallels I see to how we live today. Are we too facing the end of an era? It does feel that way more and more. And the mystery of why Hadrian’s remarkable love for Antinous – underlined by his bottomless grief – has not been celebrated widely as a model of eros points to a fear of same-sex love that has changed little from his age to ours. I’m honoured to be starting this journey into the world of opera with the COC and inside this powerful and resonant story.”
Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the most prolific songwriters and male vocalists of his generation. A Grammy-nominated and multi-Juno Award winner, Wainwright has carved out his own singular sound in the worlds of pop, opera, theatre, dance and film, and been hailed by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet.”
Wainwright’s much acclaimed first opera, Prima Donna, made its world premiere at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009. Prima Donna was described as having “inspired touches and disarmingly beautiful passages in this mysterious, stylistically eclectic work,” (New York Times), that Wainwright’s “gift as a melodist and an orchestrator are in no doubt” (The Guardian), and that Prima Donna is a “love song to opera, soaked in the perennial operatic themes of loss, betrayal, delusion and nostalgia, and saturated in the musical styles of opera’s golden age” (The Times).
One of Canada’s most successful and distinctive playwrights, Daniel MacIvor’s work has received critical acclaim around the world. He has written numerous award-winning pieces for theatre including See Bob RunThe Soldier DreamsYou Are Here, Arigato, Tokyo, and most recently The Best Brothers, and his work has been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, German and Japanese. MacIvor is the recipient of an Obie Award and a GLAAD Award for his play In On It. He also received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2006 for his collection of plays, I Still Love You, and in 2008 he was awarded the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre.
Hadrian will be the fifth opera commissioned by the COC that has had its world premiere on the company’s mainstage since 1950. The COC’s previous mainstage commissions are The Golden Ass, 1999 (composer: Randolph Peters; librettist: Robertson Davies); Mario and the Magician, 1992 (composer: Harry Somers; librettist: Rod Anderson); Héloise and Abélard, 1973 (composer: Charles Wilson; librettist: Eugene Benson); and The Luck of Ginger Coffey, 1967 (composer: Raymond Pannell; librettist: Ron Hambleton).
The COC was also the world-premiere presenter of Louis Riel (composer: Harry Somers; librettist: Mavor Moore in collaboration with Jacques Languirand) in 1967, a work commissioned by the Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation.
For presentations off the mainstage, the COC has commissioned 14 operatic works that have premiered in concert, as part of its school tour initiative or as chamber opera productions featuring members of its young artist training program, the Ensemble Studio.
Information regarding the creative team, as well as casting, design and sponsorship of Hadrian will be released as details become available.

Read about Canadian Opera Company World Premieres
Rufus Wainwright 
Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the most prolific songwriters and male vocalists of his generation. The New York born, Montreal bred singer songwriter has released seven celebrated studio albums as well as two live LPs including his Grammy-nominated Judy Garland tribute, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. His 2010 studio album, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, featured adaptations of three of Shakespeare’s sonnets set to his original compositions. His orchestral settings of Five Shakespeare Sonnets were commissioned and premiered with the San Francisco Symphony in November 2010. On his latest studio release, 2012’s Out of the Game, Wainwright collaborated with the celebrated producer Mark Ronson.
Wainwright’s much acclaimed first opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009, was performed in London at Sadler’s Wells, made its North American debut in June 2010 at Toronto’s Luminato Festival and its debut in the United States in February 2012 at the New York City Opera at BAM.
He has collaborated with artists such as Sting, Paul Simon, the Pet Shop Boys, Douglas Gordon, Lou Reed, Antony, Robert Wilson, David Byrne, Robbie Williams and Elton John among others. Wainwright is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright. Wainwright has achieved his success by carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of pop, opera, theatre, dance and film.
Daniel MacIvor 
Daniel MacIvor is originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and currently lives in Toronto and Avondale, Nova Scotia. From 1987 to 2007 with Sherrie Johnson he ran da da kamera, a respected international touring company that brought his work to Australia, Israel, Europe, the UK, and extensively throughout Canada and the United States.
He has written numerous award-winning theatre productions including See Bob RunThe Soldier DreamsYou Are HereArigato, TokyoThe Best Brothers and his work has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Czech, German and Japanese and most recently his play His Greatness was translated into French by the celebrated Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay. With Daniel Brooks he created the solo shows HouseHere Lies HenryMonsterCul-de-sacThis Is What Happens Nextand currently they are working on Who Killed Spalding Gray? based on MacIvor’s personal connection to the American monologuist.
MacIvor received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2006 for his collection of playsI Still Love You and in 2008 he was awarded the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre. He is also the recipient of an Obie Award and a GLAAD Award for his play In On It. MacIvor is currently playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
Alexander Neef 
Alexander Neef is the Canadian Opera Company’s sixth general director. He was appointed in June 2008 and has worked with some of the most prestigious arts organizations in the world.
Neef’s career as an artistic administrator has taken him from the Salzburg Festival to the RuhrTriennale in Germany, Opéra national de Paris and New York City Opera, to leading the Canadian Opera Company, Canada’s largest opera company and one of the most important in North America.
The Director of Casting for Opéra national de Paris from August 2004 to September 2008, Neef was one of Gerard Mortier’s closest collaborators and was instrumental in the production of over 80 operas.
In addition to his role at Opéra national de Paris, in March 2007, Neef joined Gerard Mortier as Mortier prepared for his tenure at New York City Opera. Previously, Neef was a member of the artistic administration at the RuhrTriennale, a three-year, multi-disciplinary festival where he was responsible for opera, theatre, and dance productions as well as concerts and events. Prior to his tenure at the RuhrTriennale, he spent two seasons at the Salzburg Festival as a production manager with the artistic administration. Neef has a master of arts from Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen where he studied Latin Philology and Modern History.
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the COC, visit its award-winning website,

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