When Alexander Neef took up his duties as General Director of L'Opéra national de Paris in September 2020, he was no stranger to Paris or its Opéra. Having begun his career at the Salzburg Festival, and later at Germany’s RuhrTriennale, he answered the call of then-General Director Gerard Mortier, to come to Paris. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Neef served as the Opéra’s Casting Director, then went on to assist Mr. Mortier in preparing the programming schedule for New York City Opera.
Known for his ambitious and innovative direction, from 2008 to 2020 Alexander Neef was General Director of the Canadian Opera Company (COC). There, he developed co-productions with the Metropolitan Opera, London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Teatro Real, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. He invited renowned artists to Toronto, commissioned new operas, and presented world premieres, including the 2018 opera Hadrian, with music by Arts Arena Advisory Board member Rufus Wainwright. Mr. Neef also re-energized the COC Ensemble Studio for young opera professionals and launched the Ensemble Studio Competition.
In 2019, alongside his management of COC, he was appointed Artistic Director of the legendary Santa Fe Opera.
Alexander Neef will be in conversation with Arts Arena Founder and Artistic Director Margery Arent Safir.