Alexander Neef appointed as next Opéra national de Paris general director3:24, 8th August 2019
Canadian Opera Company general director Alexander Neef has been named as the next general director of Opéra national de Paris.
Succeeding Stéphane Lissner, current head of Opéra national de Paris, Neef’s term will begin in the 2021/2022 season. Until then, he will remain in Toronto at Canadian Opera Company. ‘The Canadian Opera Company has been my home for more than a decade … the personal connections that have taken root in this city and in this country will certainly endure, regardless of where I find myself in the world,’ Neef comments. ‘I am proud to see Toronto considered synonymous with the world’s best opera and will always champion the COC’s contributions to opera and the excellence of Canadian artists.’
Paris holds particular significance for Neef who began his career at the city’s international opera house as head of casting, alongside former general director Gerard Mortier. Describing the appointment as an ‘extraordinary opportunity that bears an enormous responsibility’, Neef adds: ‘As one of the oldest and most distinguished opera houses in the world, I am inspired by the challenge of preserving the company’s rich history and tradition while seeing it continually adapt and evolve in a fast-changing arts and culture landscape.’
Former chair and long term member of the Canadian Opera Company board Colleen Sexsmith comments: ‘Alexander has demonstrated tremendous foresight and vision as general director since 2008 and the groundwork that he has laid over the course of his tenure with the COC has well-positioned the company for continued creative success. It has been nothing short of an absolute pleasure to be part of this artistic journey and we are certain that Paris will be well-served by his many talents.’