Peter Gelb: My ten years at the Met

He’s speaking on the subject at the Omera America conference in Montreal tomorrow.

Should be interesting. Feel free to feed highlights to Slipped Disc.



OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation’s leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce details of Opera Conference 2016: Global Strategies/Local Actions, to be held in Montréal, Québec, from May 18–21. Hosted by Opéra de Montréal in association with Opera Volunteers International, this annual gathering of opera professionals — the largest in North America — will convene at Le Westin Montréal and venues throughout the metro area. This marks the first time in OPERA America’s 46-year history that the conference will be held in Montréal and the fifth time in Canada.


With more than 500 industry leaders in attendance, OPERA America’s annual conference presents a unique opportunity to examine issues affecting the opera community from a variety of perspectives. With the theme “Global Strategies/Local Actions,” conference attendees will examine global trends — from within and outside the opera world — that can inform the bold decisions needed to amplify opera’s civic impact and bring vitality to both time-honored and new repertoire.


Topics planned for opera conference attendees cover all facets of the art form and address the concerns of creators, administrators, trustees and supporters. Highlights of the many conference-wide sessions, performances and showcases include the following:

  • The Opening Assembly, featuring discussions with François Girard, film and stage director, and Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts;


  • General Session: Global to Local — Strategies for Opera, featuring a presentation from Bernard Foccroulle, general director of Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, about how opera can take on broad issues that have local resonance, followed by a discussion with Pierre Dufour, executive director of Opéra de Montréal, Ned Canty, general director of Opera Memphis, and Perryn Leech, managing director of Houston Grand Opera;


  • General Session: The Festival Effect, offering insights from Gilbert Rozon, founder and chairman of Just For Laughs, and André Ménard, co-founder and artistic director of Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, about how they have used the festival model to their advantage;


  • General Session: Reflections from Peter Gelb, featuring reflections from the Metropolitan Opera general manager on his 10 years leading the company;


peter gelb tv

  • Thirty open sessions featuring an array of topics and experts from within and beyond the opera field, such as Opera Repertoire: Energizing Old and New with Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist of The Washington Post; designer John Conklin; Kasper Holten, director of opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Robert Marx, president, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Zizi Mueller, creative consultant, Boosey & Hawkes; and Deborah Sandler, general director and CEO, Lyric Opera of Kansas City.


  • Seminars: five intensive skill-building workshops on topics such as Business Planning for Artists and Entrepreneurs;Elevating Your Marketing Efforts on a Budget; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts; Making Meaning of Your Arts Ecosystem; and Strengthening Fundraising and Leadership Capacities;


  • Session groupings focused on special themes, such as diversity in opera, as seen in Beyond Lip Service: Equity-Based Opera Leadership (open session) and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (seminar);


  • Two World Premieres: The Trials of Patricia Isasa by Kristin Norderval and Naomi Wallace (presented by Chants Libres on May 19) and Les Feluettes (Lilies) by Kevin March and Michel Marc Bouchard (presented by Opéra de Montréal on May 21);


  • The New Works Forum, which nurtures more informed opera producers and creators, and establishes stronger relationships among them;


  • The Singer Training Forum, for those who are dedicated to the identification and development of aspiring singers; and


  • The New Works Sampler, with performances of Canadian and American works in progress and recent premieres, to take place at the Place des Arts.


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    • ja ja ja grande, molto buono mi ha fatto ridere….

      what a savege swing you have , Richard!

  • Having attended more conferences of this nature in various parts of the world than I can possibly remember, it seems the range of subjects rarely changes – and little new useful information is provided. As audiences grey and gradually collapse in many places, are these jamborees really worth the considerable expense – apart perhaps from networking, but even that nowadays can be done through social media and other much less expensive forms?

    • They must hold these get togethers …it gives the appearance that they matter
      in the scheme of things. The concerns they address are mostly how to preserve
      their pointless little jobs & lives and how to present themselves to the general
      public . One suspects there is more life at an undertakers conference than there
      is at Opera Conference 2016 .

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