Chicago Opera Theater new General Director
« on: Dec 7th, 2011, 1:02pm »
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CHICAGO OPERA THEATER ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF ANDREAS MITISEK AS GENERAL DIRECTOR
CHICAGO, IL (December 7, 2011) – Chicago Opera Theater (COT) Board President, Gregory O’Leary, announced today the appointment of Andreas Mitisek as the company’s new General Director, effective September 1, 2012. He will become the General Director Designate on January 1, 2012 to begin working on future seasons at COT. Mitisek signed a five-year contract with Chicago Opera Theater.
Mitisek will take over from current General Director Brian thingyie when thingyie’s contract ends August 31, 2012. thingyie was appointed as General Director in 1999, and according to the Chicago Tribune “lifted COT to a standard that has made it not only one of the nations’ leading regional companies, but a nationally and internationally recognized pacesetter as well.”
“We chose Andreas to be the next General Director due to his original and unique artistic vision which builds upon the incredibly high standard set by Brian,” said Board President O’Leary. “The Search Committee, as well as the Board and I, are extremely enthusiastic about the future of the company under Andreas’ direction.”
Andreas Mitisek is currently Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera (LBO), which is well-known for its daring repertory and unconventional interpretations. Mitisek became LBO’s Principal Conductor in 1998 and Artistic & General Director in 2003. His vision and leadership has helped LBO more than double its budget (from $434K to $1.2M), eliminate a longstanding deficit and to raise subscriptions by 500%. Mitisek transitioned the company from a festival format to a seasonal format of four productions a year.
“COT is the place where some of the most interesting opera productions in the country happen and I am honored to follow such an inspiring leader as Brian thingyie, who has built this company into a trademark of artistic innovation,” said Mitisek. “I look forward to becoming a part of the rich artistic fabric of Chicago, reaching out to the community and continuing the journey into new and unexplored territories of opera.”
“Andreas has done interesting work at Long Beach Opera which mirrors in many respects the character of COT,” said current General Director Brian thingyie. “Andreas is ideally equipped to take Chicago Opera Theater forward in the challenging circumstances that many performing arts companies face in these difficult times.”
Andreas will remain as Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera, creating a new model for artistic collaboration between two companies with modest budgets and similar creative sensibilities.
“Andreas, being the ever innovator and entrepreneur, will simultaneously manage Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera. Given his tremendous vision, quantifiable efficiency, and boundless energy - coupled with modern technology - he will leverage the strengths of both companies in two distant parts of the country to produce opera at the next level not only in artistry, but also efficiency,” continued O’Leary.
Mitisek explains: “Creating a national collaboration with Long Beach Opera will bring a heightened presence for both companies, creating synergies on an artistic and organizational level that can serve as a model for opera to thrive in the 21st century.”
"The appointment of Andreas Mitisek promises to continue COT's distinguished history of inventiveness and quality. The company's reputation for innovation will be enhanced by the unique producing partnership being established with Long Beach Opera,” said Opera America President Marc Scorca. “Both companies and their communities will benefit from Mitisek's exciting artistic vision and dynamic leadership."
ANDREAS MITISEK (Complete Biography)
Andreas Mitisek is currently Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera (LBO), which is well-known for its daring repertory and unconventional interpretations. Mitisek became LBO’s Principal Conductor in 1998 and Artistic & General Director in 2003. His vision and leadership has helped LBO to double its budget ($430K to $1.3M), eliminate a longstanding deficit and to raise subscriptions by 500%. Mitisek transitioned the company form a festival format to a seasonal format of four productions a year.
One of the artistic highlights included a newly-conceived production of The Ring Of The Nibelung presented in 2006.
Mitisek, who was appointed as Artistic & General Director in 2003, has further established LBO’s place as a leader in innovative and accessible opera. Southern California audiences have embraced LBO’s expanded artistic offerings as seen by a significant increase in ticket sales and first-time attendees.
LBO has presented one site-specific production per season since 2007, including performances in a popular night club, public parking garages, an Olympic swimming pool, the Ship hull of the Queen Mary, and a furniture warehouse. These performances have sold out each year since 2009 and audience demand has prompted LBO to provide additional performances.
During these years of growth, LBO has fostered collaborative partnerships with a number of Southern California arts organizations. Such partnerships have become the standard for LBO’s “Coincidence” series of insider season events (since 2009). In 2011, LBO forged a new partnership, co-hosting the Southern California Philip Glass Festival with Pacific Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, LBO will partner with the Aquarium of the Pacific by performing in the Aquarium’s Great Hall for the US premiere of The Paper Nautilus by Gavin Bryars. Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar is also part of the 2012 season, with an outdoor performance in downtown Long Beach, against the backdrop of a deserted six story office building.
From 1990-1997 Mitisek served as Founding and Artistic Director of the Wiener Operntheater (WOT) in his hometown of Vienna, Austria. He shaped WOT’s artistic profile of presenting 20th century and rarely seen works. He conducted premieres such as: John Adams’ Nixon in China, György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Harry Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs Kong, Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice, Krzysztof Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun, and Aribert Reimann’s Das Schloss.
His work as guest conductor has taken him, among others, to Komische Oper Berlin (Fledermaus, Orpheus and Eurydice), Wiener Volksoper (Guiditta, Midsummer Night’s Dream), Seattle Opera (Eugene Onegin, Der Freischuetz, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni) Philadelphia Opera Company (Salome), Austin Lyric Opera (Salome, Rigoletto, Faust), Vancouver Opera (The Rake’s Progress), Opera Theater of S. Louis (American Premiere of Michael Berkley’s Jane Eyre), Santiago de Chile (Eugene Onegin), and Tokyo (Japanese Premiere of Minoru Miki’s Jouri).
In 2005 Mitisek extend his creative activities to include stage directing. He created and directed an award-winning version of Schubert’s Winterreise, with a new story combining Schubert’s song cycle and Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther. In 2006 another concept and treatment was the opera The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigori Frid, where Mitisek incorporated a Holocaust survivor and her memoirs into the story. It was performed in the transient space of underground parking garages as a metaphor for dislocation and abandonment. In 2008 he staged Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice in a 500,000 gallon Olympic size swimming pool. In 2009 he staged a double bill of Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis and Carl Orff’s Die Kluge in the former engine rooms of the Queen Mary. In 2011 he conducted, staged and designed Medea by Cherubini in a furniture warehouse and conducted, staged and designed the West Coast Premiere of Akhnaten by Philip Glass.
CHICAGO OPERA THEATER
Founded in 1974 by Alan Stone, Chicago Opera Theater (COT) has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its mainstage performances, community engagement, education programs in Chicago Public Schools, as well as its renowned Young Artist Program.
Since Brian thingyie’s appointment as General Director in 1999, COT has evolved as an opera company that is young, fresh, and critically acclaimed. The Chicago Tribune says “Chicago Opera Theater is on a roll. The company's splendid, adventuresome shows continue to prove that the spirit of operatic adventure is alive and well at the Harris Theater." The Chicago Reader calls COT “Chicago’s most interesting opera company.”
Chicago Opera Theater’s 2012 Season opens at the Harris Theater on April 14 and runs through September 23, 2012. The Season includes Shostakovich's Moscow, Cheryomushki, Handel's Teseo and Mozart's The Magic Flute. For tickets or more information go to ChicagoOperaTheater.org or call 312.704.8414.
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