Newly created seasonal role in Santa Fe to complement Neef’s COC portfolio

Toronto – Today, Canadian Opera Company General Director Alexander Neef was named Artistic Director of Santa Fe Opera by incoming SFO General Director Robert K. Meya, effective October 1, 2018. The announcement followed Meya’s own appointment this morning by the SFO Board of Directors, along with English conductor Harry Bicket as Music Director. Neef will continue in his position as COC General Director, in addition to this new seasonal role.

Reporting to SFO’s General Director, and in collaboration with the Music Director, the Artistic Director will ensure the highest possible standard of excellence in every aspect of SFO’s artistic operations. SFO is known for its critically acclaimed summer seasons, apprentice programs for singers and theatre technicians, and year-round education programs. The company enjoys a strong relationship with the COC, having recently collaborated on productions of Richard Strauss’ Arabella (2017) and Rossini’s Maometto II (2016).

“Santa Fe Opera is one of the most renowned cultural organizations in North America and I am thrilled to join its team,” says COC General Director and Santa Fe Opera Artistic Director Designate Alexander Neef. “The COC and Santa Fe both share an uncompromising commitment to artistic excellence, as evidenced by the successful co-productions we’ve mounted together in recent years. I look forward to working with Robert Meya and Harry Bicket as we explore the infinite possibilities of opera in the 21st century.”

“The Canadian Opera Company congratulates our General Director Alexander Neef on his additional appointment as Artistic Director of Santa Fe Opera,” says COC Board Chair Justin Linden. “Alexander’s track record and international reputation of success is a testament to his devotion to the world of opera. We are proud of all that he has accomplished with us and look forward to his ongoing work and achievements with the COC and Santa Fe Opera.”

“Repeatedly during our search for a new General Director, we were advised to pursue Alexander Neef,” says President of Santa Fe Opera Susan G. Marineau. “We understood that Alexander had just signed a long-term contract at the COC, so we had no hope of bringing him to Santa Fe until Robert Meya, our General Director Designate, proposed to us that Alexander might be able to do both jobs.”

Adds Marineau: “Santa Fe Opera’s Board is grateful to the COC Board of Directors for allowing Alexander Neef to become our Artistic Director, while remaining the General Director of the COC. We believe this will be a rich pairing that will benefit both companies. With the addition of Harry Bicket assuming the role of Music Director in Santa Fe, we are confident they will create beautiful music together.”

“I am beyond thrilled to be working together with Alexander Neef as our Artistic Director. Of all the points of view in the opera world today, Alexander’s is one of the most well-informed and thoroughly considered,” says Santa Fe Opera General Director Designate Robert K. Meya. “Together with Harry Bicket as our Music Director, we will have one of the strongest teams in the industry and will be well-equipped to build upon Santa Fe Opera’s legacy of artistic excellence.”


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