Abbé Perrin (Director of...
Born in Ghent, Belgium, son of a baker, Gerard Mortier graduated from the Ghent University where he completed a Law Ph.D. degree and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Science. Passionate about opera, he started his career as assistant to the Flandres Festival Director (end of the 1960s). From 1979 to 1981 he was hired to assist Rolf Liebermann and Hugues Gall at the Paris Opera as program advisor. From 1981 to 1992 he became the Director of the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie. Along with his Music Director Sylvain Cambreling, he produced shows created by Luc Bondy, Patrice Chéreau, Karl-Ernst Herrmann, Peter Mussbach and Herbert Wernicke, and forged the reputation of the theatre that became one of the famous European opera houses. From 1992 to 2001 he became head of the Salzburg Festival. Mortier was then nominated to the Ruhr Festival (2002-2004) before he replaced Hugues Gall at the direction of the Paris Opera (2004-2009). He collaborated with many artists, such as directors Michael Haneke, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Christoph Marthaler and La Fura dels Baus, scenic designers like Bill Viola (Tristan and Isolde) and Anselm Kiefer, as well as with composers such as Kaija Saariaho and Philippe Boesmans. He also presented operas that were rarely staged, such as Cardillac by Hindemith, Louise by Gustave Charpentier, From the House of the Dead and The Makropoulos Case by Janáček. He enriched the ballet repertoire with works like Le Songe de Médée (Preljocaj), Caligula (Le Riche), Véronique Doisneau (Bel), L’Envol d’Icare (Malandain), Amoveo (Millepied), Genus (McGregor), Les Enfants du paradis (Martinez), Orpheus and Eurydice (Bausch). Gerard Mortier was then appointed to the New York City Opera in 2007, but he finally declined the position and became Director of the Teatro Real de Madrid from 2009 to 2013.
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