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Santa Fe Opera Artistic Director Alexander Neef Will Be the Next Director of Paris National Opera

Media Contact: Emily Doyle Moore | 505-986-5908 |


The Santa Fe Opera Congratulates Artistic Director Alexander Neef on His New Role at Paris National Opera

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Santa Fe, NM —  The Santa Fe Opera is delighted to share news of the appointment of Artistic Director Alexander Neef as the next General Director of Paris National Opera commencing in late 2021. Neef has served as the Santa Fe Opera’s Artistic Director Designate since February 9, 2018 and as Artistic Director since October 1, 2018.

The Santa Fe Opera’s leadership team, consisting of General Director Robert K. Meya, Artistic Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Harry Bicket, have already firmly laid the artistic plans through the 2022 Season, and will have planned the 2023 Season by the end of the year. By the time Neef assumes his new position, artistic programming for the Santa Fe Opera will be completed through 2025.  The Santa Fe Opera fully anticipates a long and continued collaboration with Alexander Neef and looks forward to exploring new projects in partnership with the Paris National Opera.

Santa Fe Opera General Director Robert K. Meya shares, “When I approached Alexander about becoming the Santa Fe Opera’s Artistic Director, I was eager to bring his ability to attract world-class singers, conductors, directors and designers to the Santa Fe Opera. I am thrilled to have planned five seasons with Alexander, and I look forward to our continued collaboration once he takes the helm at Paris National Opera. His selection is a great compliment to the Santa Fe Opera and further extends our global recognition as one of the world’s leading opera festivals.”

Santa Fe Opera Board President Susan G. Marineau congratulates Neef, writing, “I could not be more thrilled for Alexander.  I am also very excited for the Santa Fe Opera, as this will create an unparalleled opportunity for collaboration between Santa Fe and Paris. Not only does the Santa Fe Opera have a reputation for nurturing young artists, the fact that our own Artistic Director is going to lead one of the largest opera houses in the world is a great endorsement of our company.”

Artistic Director Alexander Neef remarks, “The Santa Fe Opera has provided such a great opportunity to be involved in opera in this very unique and special setting.  As the premiere opera festival in North America, it has afforded me a set of experiences I would not have been able to obtain elsewhere.  I am incredibly proud of the seasons we have already put in place for the future and I feel privileged to have worked with Robert and Harry as a team.  Even though I will be on the other side of the Atlantic in a few years, I will always be a great friend of the Santa Fe Opera.”

The Santa Fe Opera’s 2019 Season is led by General Director Robert K. Meya, Artistic Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Harry Bicket, and presents five operas in 36 performances as well as a special Santa Fe Opera debut concert by celebrated American soprano Renée Fleming with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. Future seasons of which Neef will be a part feature world premiere operas by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and John Corigliano and Mark Adamo (The Lord of Cries), as well as the return of the music of Wagner to the Santa Fe Opera stage with Tristan und Isolde starring Tamara Wilson and Simon O’Neill.

The Santa Fe Opera congratulates Alexander Neef on this exciting appointment and wishes him every success in his future role at Paris National Opera.

About the Santa Fe Opera

Lauded by The Wall Street Journal as “the Rolls-Royce of American summer opera festivals,” the Santa Fe Opera annually draws 85,000 people from New Mexico and around the globe. Nestled atop a mountain vista in northern New Mexico, the company’s iconic Crosby Theatre offers a nightly seating capacity of 2,126. The covered theatre is open on three sides, allowing visitors to enjoy performances complemented by the elements. Since 1957 the company has presented over 2,000 performances of 168 operas by 87 composers, including 15 world premieres and 45 American premieres.

The mission of the Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.

Page Header Image: Santa Fe Opera Artistic Director Alexander Neef. Photo by Bo Huang