KOB was founded in 1947 by Walter Felsenstein, and specializes in German language productions of opera, operetta and musicals. It was recently awarded “Opera Company of the Year” by the International Opera Awards in London, 2015.
De Souza, who recently made debuts with COC (Figaro) and National Ballet of Canada (Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet), will lead eight productions with the KOB throughout the 2016/17 season.
The position will begin immediately following six weeks as a guest and assistant conductor at the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the excellent music staff of a leading opera house, immersed in the cultural life of one of Europe’s capital cities,” De Souza said. “The German theatre system is the mecca of opera and the chance to continue honing my craft in a stimulating artistic landscape, continuing the so-called “old-school European conductor-training model” of gaining repertoire and experience in the theatre, is the perfect adventure at this point in my career.”
De Souza admitted the timing will be tight, but he plans to relocate to Berlin shortly after Tapestry’s co-commissioned world-premiere opera “The Rocking Horse Winner” with Scottish Opera (May 27 – June 4, 2016).
When asked if he plans on maintaining his various roles in Toronto, De Sousa said his contract with KOB is designed to allow guest contracts in North America and Europe to continue growing, including full-length productions in 2016-17 with l’Opéra de Montréal and Tapestry.
“Being based in Berlin, I’ll have to step away from my regular roles with COC and NBC, but I’m glad to have had the chance to build great relationships with both and have learned a great deal,” De Souza added.