Gerard Mortier is a world-renowned opera manager and has been General Director of the Teatro Real de Madrid since 2010.
Dr Mortier began his career in opera as assistant to the director of the Flanders Festival. He has since gone on to lead Brussels' Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, where he stayed for a decade before being named director of the Salzburg Festival, where he succeeded Herbert von Karajan. Following a ten-year-long tenure in Salzburg - where he often found himself at odds with conservative audiences - he began a three-year stint as director of the RuhrTriennale arts festival, which staged events in the abandoned industrial venues of Germany's Ruhr region. Appointed director designate of the Opéra National de Paris in 2000, and officially taking the title of director in 2004, Mr Mortier's efforts while leading that company have consistently upturned the status quo, simultaneously focusing on experimental new productions and the presentation of modern and twentieth century operas.
Dr Mortier next assumed a three-year term as the director of a new international arts festival, the RuhrTriennale 2002-04, in which innovative arts programming is presented in former industrial venues in the Ruhr Valley of Germany. In 2000, Dr Mortier was appointed Director Designate of the Opera National de Paris and has led the company as its director since 2004. His tenures have been characterized by a bold, creative and innovative focus on new productions and 20th century opera. He is also known for exciting collaborations with the most important musicians and composers of our time, as well as with major visual artists and renowned film and stage directors.
Dr. Mortier holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Antwerp, as well as decorations awarded by Belgium and Germany. He holds a degree in communications science and earned a doctorate in law from Ghent University.