The wait has been long, and the congratulations are all the more warm. The appointment Wednesday of Alexander Neef at the head of the Paris Opera from the season 2021-2022 has been welcomed by the operatic world and beyond. Starting with Stéphane Lissner, who will pass the relay in two years. If he acknowledged that he did not know “personally” its successor, the Opera’s general director explains in an interview to France Musique that it welcomes the new.

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“I think it is a great signal, and I am optimistic for the home, for the programming and for the artistic project to come”

Stéphane Lissner, France Music

“Knowing that he has worked with Gerard Mortier for many years, and have always said that Mortar was the best opera director, as we have seen in the last few decades, I think it is a great signal, and I am optimistic for the home, for the programming and for the artistic project to come,” explains Lissner. The current boss is already ready to host the “director préfigurateur” to “work together”. “I have requested that we prepare in the offices, all the parts that will allow the new management to take its decisions and to move forward in the future,” he said, saying it is “available to help” set the future direction. For two years, the two men will co-exist, Lissner leading his last few seasons and Neef preparing the following, a work for which he is committed to devote 20% of his time, regardless of its activities as a patron of the Opera in Toronto and the artistic director of the Festival of Santa Fe.

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unsuccessful Competitor of Alexander Neef, Olivier Mantei, the patron of the Opéra-Comique, he addressed his “congratulations” and expressed his “wishes for success in this new and beautiful adventure”. “Paris was lucky,” said the head of american conductor James Gaffigan. “Whoa!”, exclaimed in his turn, the soprano Karita Mattila. “Welcome to Paris”, has launched the violinist Renaud Capuçon. The representatives of the cultural authorities in canada are also went out of their laudatory comments, stating most of the time that they were jealous of France. Compliments and congratulations which Alexander Neef, famous for his courtesy, was quick to respond.

“I find it incredible that Emmanuel Macron gives me as much time as he led a country”

Alexander Neef, the New York Times

The future director of the Paris Opera house, hides not his joy. “This is a day emotional enough for me. A great honor and an important responsibility”, he explained to the New York Times . The future boss of the Opera tells also that he was received by Emmanuel Macron a few weeks ago at the Elysée palace. An interview of 45 minutes Neef does not always. “I find it incredible that it gives me as much time as he led a country,” says he. His project, it is true, has something to the head of State, which celebrates as much as possible in his speech the vitality of the creation in France and the art of being French. Alexander Neef has in effect announced that it would focus particularly to make live the “French directory”. “Not in an encyclopaedic manner, but in amount the good parts and the parts forgotten to keep this inheritance alive, he says. It is a question of identity.” A language that approves without a doubt, Emmanuel Macron.