Canadian Opera Company Announces 2009/10 Season

Michael Cooper 2009

Michael Cooper 2009

Miss Mussel is a little bit late to the party but she is pleased to share the news that the COC has appointed its new conductor. Johannes Debus is currently on staff at the Frankfurt Opera but is known in Toronto for his work in the widely admired production of War & Peace in the autumn of 2008.

General Director Alexander Neef acknowledges that the decision was made quickly but in his four months behind the wheel he hasn’t come across as a man afraid to pull the trigger. He said, “I didn’t expect today to announce my music director – I expected it to be a process that lasted at least two or three more years,” Neef said. “I just felt, why should we put Johannes on the short list for the next two or three years, continue inviting other people, (then) after three years decide he’s the man and he’s (had another offer)?

Both leaders of the COC are now 34 years old with bags of experience in European houses. In several press conferences, Neef has shown a refusal to buy into the CanCon hubris that says the COC is a world class house and is instead putting plans in motion to make it so. It’s exactly the course of action needed.

Debus’ first engagement of the 2009-10 season will be a 60th anniversary gala featuring Ben Heppner. The rest of season includes Madame Butterfly; The Nightingale and Other Short Fables (Stravinsky dir. Robert Lepage); Carmen, Otello, The Flying Dutchman, Maria Stuarda [Donizetti] and Indomeneo.

Details regarding who is singing what in all of these shows can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *