Alexander Neef became the general director of the Canadian Opera Company in 2008. He was 34 years old and he'd visited Canada only once before. He says the new Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, the excellent COC chorus and the friendly atmosphere made it an easy decision. That, and the opportunity to run an opera house.
Neef grew up in a small town near Stuttgart, Germany. His love of music and opera led him to arts administration, and his first job was at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. Subsequently Neef co-founded an arts festival in the industrial Ruhr area of Germany, and spent four years as director of casting for the Paris Opera.
He's a dedicated supporter of the arts who travels the world to check out opera productions and singers, but Neef is no snob. He's interested in pop culture and new trends, and as the host of This Is My Music, Neef includes music he's discovered in his adopted city of Toronto. Neef will stay on as general director of the Canadian Opera Company until 2021.
Neef hosts This Is My Music on Saturday, Jan. 26 on CBC Radio 2, 10:05 a.m. to noon in most of the country, 11:05 a.m. to 1:00 p,m. in Atlantic Canada.
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