The Canadian Opera Company (COC) has circulated a response to the recent media speculation prompted by a news report from 20 Minutes France and Le Monde. The reports state Paris Opera General Director, Stéphane Lissner, will be stepping down early in the wake of a 40M € deficit due in part to strike action earlier in the year.
Le Monde further speculated that COC’s General Director, Alexander Neef, could be beginning his appointment in Paris as early as January 2021.
“I certainly did not anticipate Lissner’s early departure,” says Neef in a press release statement. “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.”
Neef was to succeed Stéphane Lissner beginning in September 2021, and will be remaining in Toronto through the close of the 2020/2021 COC season. Neef’s appointment required him cut his recent contract extension with the COC short by five years (2025/2026).
“The COC continues to navigate an extraordinarily challenging time for the performing arts industry, and that is where my focus is centred right now,” adds Neef. “I remain committed to our company and the work before us.”