Gerard Mortier

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Gerard Mortier

Gerard Alfons August, Baron Mortier (25 November 1943 – 8 March 2014) was a Belgian opera director and administrator of Flemish origin, born in Ghent.

Career[edit]

Mortier studied law and journalism at Ghent University. He then pursued apprenticeships in opera administration under Christoph von Dohnányi in Frankfurt and Rolf Liebermann in Paris.[1] He served as the general director of La Monnaie (De Munt), Brussels (1981–91) and the Salzburg Festival (1990–2001). He was a founding director of the Ruhr Triennale arts festival in Germany, and then he became general director of the Opéra National de Paris in 2004.[2] He relinquished this post in 2009.

In February 2007, the New York City Opera (NYCO) named him their next general director, effective as of the 2009/2010 season.[3] Mortier assisted with company operations from Paris during the interim period after his appointment was announced. Problems with fund-raising and a smaller-than-expected budget began to develop during the interim period after Mortier's appointment. At one point, there was controversy during this time over speculation that Mortier was campaigning for a position as co-artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival.

In November 2008, by mutual agreement, Mortier and the NYCO agreed to terminate their contract, and that he would not become NYCO's general director.[4] Later that month, Mortier accepted the position of Artistic Director of the Teatro Real.[5]

In September 2013, he announced he was battling cancer and urged the Spanish government not to appoint a Spaniard as his successor.[why?][6] The following week he was fired,[7] to be replaced by Joan Matabosch, of the Liceu in Barcelona. On 26 September 2013, Mortier was named Artistic Advisor of the Teatro Real[8]

In April 2014, he was awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" in the International Opera Awards 2014.[9]

Death[edit]

Mortier died of pancreatic cancer in Brussels on 8 March 2014, aged 70.[10]

Academic career and awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fred Cohn (9 March 2014). "Gerard Mortier, 70, Intendant Who Courted Innovation and Controversy in the Opera House, Has Died". Opera News. 
  2. ^ John Rockwell (15 May 2003). "Tempting Audiences To German Rust Belt; Ruhr Triennale Flouts Tradition". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Daniel J. Wakin (28 February 2007). "City Opera Lures Director From Paris". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  4. ^ Daniel J. Wakin (7 November 2008). "Bold Impresario and City Opera Part Ways". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  5. ^ "El Teatro Real ficha a Gérard Mortier". El País. 26 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2008. 
  6. ^ Cancer-ridden Mortier announces his successor, artsjournal.com; accessed 9 March 2014.
  7. ^ Mortier fired, artsjournal.com; accessed 9 March 2014.
  8. ^ Gerard Mortier, Artistic Advisor for Teatro Real, http://www.teatro-real.com/; accessed 13 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Opera Awards 2014". The International Opera Awards. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  10. ^ New York Times obituary, 10 March 2014.

External Links[edit]