Marc ClémeurManaging Director
Born in Antwerp, Belgium, he studied at the Conservatoire Royal de musique d'Anvers (Antwerp Royal Conservatory of Music) while at secondary school. He went on to study Music and Theatre Sciences at Cologne University. After defending his thesis on the French version of Verdi's Don Carlos, he became Assistant Director to Götz Friedrich at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Bayreuth and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf.
From 1977, he worked as a classical music producer for Belgian radio and television, where he was in charge of broadcasting opera from the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. In 1984, he was appointed Manager of the Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1989, he was appointed Managing Director of the Opéra de Flandre which became internationally acclaimed under his management. His productions were invited to Paris, London, Hamburg, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Tokyo etc. The review Opernwelt awarded him the title of "best opera house of the year" on several occasions. Artists such as Robert Carsen and Silvio Varviso performed there on a regular basis (they are particularly remembered for an unforgettable Puccini cycle). In 2006, the production of Kat'a Kabanova was invited to La Scala in Milan and was awarded the prize for the best theatrical show of the year in Italy.
And we should not forget the "Fellini Trilogy" (with Bruno Maderna's Satyricon, Giorgio Battistelli's Prova d'orchestra, and the world premiere of an opera based on La Strada) and a Tetralogy of Richard Wagner's work.
Marc Clémeur has been the Managing Director of the Opéra national du Rhin since 2009. Here, he has taken on board an original project over the past few seasons, targeting a broader illustration of the repertoire, from Baroque music to music today, with a particular focus on contemporary creators (such as Giorgio Battistelli, Peter Eötvös and Philippe Manoury); a cycle devoted to Janacek, directed by Robert Carsen (Jenufa in 2010, L'Affaire Makropoulos, Kat'a Kabanova in 2012 La Petite Renarde rusée (February 2013) and From the House of the Dead in September 2013) and rarely produced French works such as Louise by Charpentier, Rameau's Platée directed by Christophe Rousset in 2010 to be restaged in 2014 (production broadcast on Arte and Mezzo), Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas (June 2011), Les Huguenots (June 2012 in co-production with La Monnaie de Bruxelles and voted best production of the year 2011 by the monthly revue Opernwelt), Les Pêcheurs de perles (May 2013) and Le Roi Arthus by Chausson (March 2014).
The press acclaims the quality of the Opéra national du Rhin: the Syndicat Professionnel de la Critique Théâtre Musique Danse awarded the production of Platée and Aladin et la Lampe merveilleuse the prize for the "creation of the best theatrical show" and the productions and artists of the Opéra national du Rhin received 14 nominations from journalists working for the Opernwelt Directory 2010. In 2011, the members of the Syndicat Professionnel de la Critique awarded the Opéra national du Rhin the Grand Prix for the best lyrical show of the year for its new production of Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner, the absolute highlight of the exceptional Ring produced by our Opera House.
Marc Clémeur is also dedicated to launching actions in favour of young audiences, in particular by backing productions targeting young people. Under 26-year olds account for 30% of the audience welcomed by the Opéra national du Rhin. Under his leadership, Opéra Studio, based in Colmar, is firmly entrenched in its vocation as a production centre for children's operas. The success of Nino Rota's Aladin ou la lampe merveilleuse (which will be restaged in December 2013) has encouraged Marc Clémeur to develop his Young Audience policy. Ali Baba ou les Quarante Voleurs, after Cherubini, ran in Alsace and then at the Athénée-Théâtre-Louis-Jouvet in Paris. In April 2013, the young singers performed in Blanche-Neige by Markus Felix Lange, a French creation running at the OnR and the Athénée-Théâtre-Louis-Jouvet for 29 performances.
Marc Clémeur is also determined to enhance cross-border development and has successfully increased the number of German spectators (23%) due to the strategic position of Alsace at the crossroads of Europe, the systematic bilingual surtitling of all the opera productions and advertising targeting the German-speaking public. The number of Opera season-ticket holders has also increased significantly over the last few seasons. An ever-increasing, cosmopolitan public for the "Opera of Europe".