City Opera Appoints Conductor Gordon Gerrard As New Artistic Director

Gordon draws on a wealth of artistic and administrative experience as a conductor of Canada's leading orchestras and opera companies, a pianist, and an educator.

By: Jun. 06, 2023
City Opera Appoints Conductor Gordon Gerrard As New Artistic Director

The Board of Directors of City Opera Vancouver (City Opera) has announced the appointment of Canadian conductor Gordon Gerrard as the organization's next Artistic Director.

The appointment is the culmination of extensive community consultation and a six-month search, following the retirement of City Opera's Founding Artistic Director, Dr. Charles Barber, in January.

“Gordon's impressive background as a conductor, opera specialist and educator, coupled with his imaginative programming and community engagement experience, bring a dynamic perspective to this pivotal leadership role,” says Board President Janet Lea. “His commitment to cultivating community and telling compelling stories that illuminate contemporary challenges resonates strongly with City Opera's values, as does his passion for making music accessible to everyone. It's an exciting new chapter in City Opera's history.”

“City Opera's successful track record reflects its understanding of meaningful community connection and the power of great operatic storytelling,” says Gerrard. “I'm honoured to join this respected organization and build on its inspired traditions of collaboration, inclusion and impactful music-making. It's a perfect time to seize new possibilities for creating modern engaged chamber opera experiences that enrich the cultural life of Vancouver and solidify City Opera's place as a vital contributor to the Canadian experience.

Gordon draws on a wealth of artistic and administrative experience as a conductor of Canada's leading orchestras and opera companies, a pianist, and an educator. Currently in his sixth season as Music Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, he is well known as a proponent of innovative and inclusionary programming that explores social change and community engagement. His transformative work with aspiring musicians at such organizations as Calgary Opera, Opera Nuova and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity also has ignited the careers of numerous emerging artists.

The former Vancouver resident is a familiar presence in the city's cultural and educational communities, having served from 2012 to 2016 as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Assistant and Associate Conductor, under the mentorship of Maestro Bramwell Tovey. He continues to lead the orchestra as a guest conductor and enjoys a long association with Vancouver Opera and UBC Opera.

Gordon will take up his new role with City Opera in September 2023, in tandem with his ongoing leadership of the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

A detailed biography is available here and you can also visit his website.

City Opera is British Columbia's first professional chamber opera company, whose focus includes giving voice to equity-denied groups through its choice of artists, stories and socially-relevant themes. Now in its 16th year, the company has gained a stellar reputation for bringing accessible chamber opera to underserved communities and for commissioning dynamic new work that highlights contemporary cultural issues.

The company produces and presents opera, both live and online, spanning early classical repertoire to new works created in our time. To date, City Opera has given more than 200 free pop-up opera concerts and special events, 71 in the Downtown Eastside, alongside 13 full-length mainstage productions, including five commissioned operas.



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