I was very pleased to be standing on the stage of the beautiful Four
Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts today, and I am honoured to have
been given this extraordinary opportunity. In the past I have been very
privileged to work with some of the best companies in the world, and it
is yet another privilege that this company is the first one I actually
get to lead.
When I was first
told about the posting, I didn’t know much about the COC, but after
doing some research and looking at the web site, I could see that this
company is one of great resources and ambition. What was tempting for
me was the reasonable size of the company and the number of
productions. Having worked at Paris Opera for four years, with 20
operas per season, this company would seem to allow me to concentrate
on everything the company was doing.
I actually came here for interviews and saw the company at work, I was
very impressed by the commitment of the staff, artists and the board
members, and the quality of your orchestra and chorus. But the most
impressive thing for me was the pride everybody takes in the company.
And, of course, I got to see and hear this fantastic hall. That’s when
I became really excited.
this wonderful theatre allows the company to continue the process
towards the goals that were interrupted by Richard Bradshaw’s death.
The fact that he achieved so much is a testament to his efforts and the
value and stamina of this company. I look forward to continuing and
developing the vision he began—making the most of the opera house and
meeting the artistic standard that it sets for the company.
of the predominant qualities of this company is that it sets its sights
very high, and, it is worthy of working with the finest people in the
industry. I know that the company has very strong relationships with
several very important Canadian artists, and there are others that will
have to be built. We need to attract all great artists and make them
welcome here, making them feel that this is their opera house and their
We need to produce
high-quality productions of standard repertoire, and present pieces
that the COC has never produced before. We need to collaborate with
other world-class companies. We need to commission and produce
contemporary operas. We need to train the next generation of Canadian
artists. We need to do everything we can to spread the COC’s influence
as widely as possible.
immediately start planning 2011/12, and I will also start looking at
the 2012/13 season to bring the company into a preparation cycle that
is equal to that of other major opera companies. By extending our
planning cycle, we will be able to entice the most exciting artists in
the world—those artists who are booked many years in advance.
have to tell you that I already feel embraced by the company that I
have only just met. I am here to continue the journey already in
progress and elevate the company to a new level of achievement. I want
to thank the Search Committee for their vision in choosing me, and the
members of the Board for their faith in me. My wife and I look forward
to living and raising our daughter in a city and country with such
artistic potential and excitement.
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