First spat of 2014: Maestro opens opens fire on Canadian Opera

First spat of 2014: Maestro opens opens fire on Canadian Opera


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2014

Bramwell Tovey, music director of the Vancouver Symphony does not often plunge into controversy, but a sniffy comment by the COC chief Alexander Neef has provoked him into writing a blast for Macleans magazine.

Tovey, 60 and British born, took issue with Neef’s suggestion that there was no point searching for new operas among Canadians:

Mr. Neef was quoted as saying, “I’ve always deplored the useless and misguided kind of musical nationalism.” It’s easy to appreciate how this appears contemptuous and uninformed from the head of the national opera company…. Mr. Neef has … failed to attend any of the new mainstage Canadian operas mounted by the companies in Victoria, Vancouver or Calgary. His blog states he flew to Italy during the premiere run of Estacio’s Lillian Alling in Vancouver…

Seconds away, round 2:

bramwell tovey vs neef_laura


  • Anonymous says:

    It’s a sad commentary on the Toronto music scene when a lot of people can’t like or share this article on Facebook because of a fear that they would never work again. Nevertheless, well said Maestro Tovey.

  • Richard Todd says:

    This is an outrage! The company should change its name to Toronto Foreign Opera Company.