The Canadian Opera Company have been looking for a new general director since the much-loved Richard Bradshaw died unexpectedly in August 2007. This morning, the COC announced that German-born Alexander Neef, currently the casting director at the Opera Nationale de Paris, has accepted the post.
Neef is just 34 years old but according to David Ferguson, president of the COC Board of Directors, “He was the unanimous choice of the search committee and of the senior members of the company who met with him.” Ferguson went on to say that Neef’s relative youth was, “one of the things we liked about him as a candidate is that he is young. The COC is facing the challenge of attracting a younger audience and we hope he will give youth his attention.”
The CBC reported that Neef’s major goals for the opera company were to attracting great artists, including more international opera stars; creating a high-quality standard repertoire and adding new operas the COC has never performed and commissioning and producing new operas. He is also working on extending the COC’s planning cycle to help with attracting singers booked years in advance.
The leadership of the COC is not fully settled though since Neef will not be filling the conductor’s role as Bradshaw did. A search for new music director will commence in earnest when Neef takes up his post in October.