Alexander Neef Responds to French Media Reports Regarding Early Start to Opéra de Paris Tenure

By Francisco Salazar

Alexander Neef has released a statement in response to recent media speculation out of France that the Canadian Opera Company’s OC General Director plans on exiting his role with the company ahead of July 2021.

In a statement, Neef confirmed that no decision has been made on accelerating a departure date. He said, “I certainly did not anticipate Lissner’s early departure.  I have not yet had any formal discussions – either with the Paris Opera or members of our Board of Directors – about accelerating the start of my engagement in Paris. Moreover, the ongoing global health crisis makes it difficult to envision how any significant changes to the intended timeline could be accommodated.”

“The COC continues to navigate an extraordinarily challenging time for the performing arts industry and that is where my focus is centered right now,” adds Neef. “I remain committed to our company and the work before us.”

Neef was appointed the next General Director of Opéra national de Paris in July 2019 with plans for him to succeed current head, Stéphane Lissner, after the close of the COC’s 2020-21 season.

However, on June 11,  France’s Ministry of Culture confirmed that Lissner was departing a full seven months ahead, leaving his post on December 31, 2020. An article in Le Monde speculated that Neef would be starting as early as January 2021.