Jonathan Brandani, acclaimed conductor and rising star of the classical music world, has been named the new Artistic Director of Calgary Opera. Audiences will remember Maestro Brandani as the conductor of the company’s celebrated production of Puccini’s La Bohème in 2019. He will relocate from Italy to Calgary this fall.
In his new role, Brandani will champion Calgary Opera’s work in the community, program the upcoming 2022-23 50th Anniversary season, and lead the company’s return to live performances in 2022. He brings his passion for youth education and inclusiveness to the position, alongside his desire to bring art beyond the theatre into community spaces where everyone can enjoy and contribute.
“Personally, I am looking forward to participating in, and contributing to, Calgary Opera’s continued success,” said Brandani in a statement. “For Calgary Opera’s 50th Anniversary we will showcase that opera is for everyone and do this by extending music into the local communities, engaging in important conversations, and ensuring the stories and the people on stage accurately reflect the diverse people in our community.”
Brandani is a laureate of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program, and enjoys an international career conducting many of the world’s great orchestras and opera companies. He was drawn to Calgary Opera in part due to the company’s outreach initiatives, including Opera Labs and the Community Ambassadors Program (both launched in 2020), and Calgary Opera’s emerging artist development program and Let’s Create an Opera school program.
“We recognized this search was an opportunity to find a leader whose values aligned with ours and who could bring exceptional artistic programming that reflected the diversity, inclusiveness and uniqueness of our community,” said Calgary Opera’s Board Chair Jacqueline Pyke. “We’re delighted this opportunity led us to Jonathan and look forward to enjoying the impact he will have on our organization at this exciting time, approaching our 50th anniversary.”
Throughout the remainder of 2021, Calgary Opera will be continuing its education and community engagement initiatives including the creation of a selection of digital concerts. Main stage performances will return in January 2022 with Franz Lehár’s operetta, The Merry Widow starring soprano Aviva Fortunata in the title role, Canadian tenor Colin Ainsworth as Camille de Rosillon and Calgary-born baritone Andrew Love as Count Danilo.
For the 2021-22 season, Calgary Opera has introduced a “No Risk” booking policy that allows ticket buyers to cancel tickets up to 24 hours in advance of performance and receive a full refund.
More details on Calgary Opera’s 2021-22 season here.