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Brian Dickie
Since Brian Dickie's appointment as General Director in 1999, COT has become a company of international renown and following. His first season with COT in 2000 was met with such acclaim that he was honored by the Chicago Tribune as a "Chicagoan of the Year" -- the paper declared that Brian "clearly recognized the organization's growth potential amid an increasingly sophisticated Chicago arts scene." This honor was repeated in 2002.

Brian was also a key facilitator in COT's move to downtown Chicago as a founding company of the Harris Theater in Millennium Park in 2004.

During Brian's tenure he produced 17 Chicago premieres including such favorites as Orfeo, Death in Venice, and Nixon in China. In 2009 he will mark his 18th Chicago premiere with a highly anticipated new production of Britten's Owen Wingrave.

Brian Dickie began his opera career when he joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1962. He was Artistic Director of the Wexford Festival from 1967 to 1973 and simultaneously the first Administrator of Glyndebourne Touring Opera where for many years a high proportion of the leading British singers began their careers. In 1981 he became General Administrator of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, a post he held until 1988.

Brian held the post of General Director of the Canadian Opera Company from 1989 to 1993 and from 1994 to 1997 was Artistic Adviser to the Opéra de Nice and Adviser to the International Youth Foundation during the formation of the European Union Opera.

In addition to serving as General Director of COT he has been Chairman of the International Jury for Preselections for the Bertelsmann Foundation's biennial Neue Stimmen Competition since 1999. In this capacity in the summer of 2009 he will audition more than 800 singers from around the world.

Brian sits on the board of Opera America and the Chicago College of Performing Arts.

Entries by Brian Dickie

Birthdays and Valentines

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 10:41 AM

So we had an excellent recital at the Cultural Center at lunch time, with our master programmer Scott Gilmore coming up with a great program for the three members of the COT program who took part. Two of them you see below before the recital.

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(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2011 | 9:55 AM

First of all you have to read the news about Riccardo Muti -- this is a unique take on the story. If you think you know it all you may discover that you don't when you read this. Click on the link and take a sedative -- or...

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Whiteout Day

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2011 | 5:02 PM

It was pretty well impossible to get anywhere in Chicago yesterday. And Lake Shore Drive was still closed at 4:45 pm. (UPDATE - it re-opened this morning.) I was out early to take a look and actually walked across this busy expressway in the middle of what would normally be...

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That was the decade that was!

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2011 | 11:39 AM

I have had the good fortune to have been in Chicago for the whole of the first decade of the 21st century which ended over the weekend. It has been a period with many richly enjoyable performances - individual evenings giving intense pleasure, and themes which were ongoing which gave...

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Time for shopping...

(0) Comments | Posted December 21, 2010 | 9:31 AM

Tis the shopping season and the retailers rely on these weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year for their profits, and therefore their livelihoods. It did not look to me like a very auspicious time for them as I diverted to Magnificent Mile and Oak Street on my...

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Let It Rain!

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 11:51 AM

Yes it did , and no doubt next it will be snow. We had a horrible day here last Wednesday, cold, wet, winter.....and not the thing to go out in if avoidable. But we braved the elements and showed up at Daley Plaza for the lighting of the Christmas Tree...

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Apple Effect and Other Stories

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2010 | 6:04 PM

The mystery store on North Avenue and Halsted has been unveiled and opens on Saturday, to teeming throngs no doubt. All thee roads around the immediate vicinity of the store have been smartly repaved, with new lines all shiny white.

The CTA Red Line station has been rebuilt at...

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Joan Sutherland 1926-2010

(4) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 3:15 PM

Oh dear -- one of the greatest of all is gone, a singer who for my generation was a defining light, a miraculous singer, and as Luciano said, "the voice of the century."

She was a member of the Covent Garden Company when I first started going to the opera...

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Festa Muti!

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2010 | 12:16 PM

The next four weeks are Festa Muti in Chicago - and it kicked off tonight with a splendid event in Millennium Park with a huge crowd, and I mean really huge - maybe over 20,000 - for an evening of electrifying playing by the CSO with their new...

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Summer well and truly over

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 11:53 AM

So here we are - Labor Day marks the end of the summer, not the autumnal equinox which is still just more than two weeks away. Everyone should be back at work tomorrow, thank goodness. Except of course the increasing numbers of unemployed from every walk of life. There have...

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(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 12:39 PM

I was somewhat moved (sentimental as I am) by a piece in the Guardian today about The Rake's Progress which opens at Glyndebourne next Sunday. This will be the umpteenth revival of the celebrated John Cox/David Hockney production which was one of the two new productions...

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More Nostalgia!

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 12:29 PM

We had a lovely evening at the Chicago Public Library where Peter Sellars was in conversation (fairly one sided!) with James Cuno, President and Director of the Art Institute. They have known each other since Harvard days so Jim was able to fire off a couple of "can...

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Opera news from Chicago

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2010 | 10:54 AM

It was a bit of a surprise I must say to hear from Chicago that Bill Mason is retiring from the Lyric Opera after 15 years as General Director and a lifetime in opera, 95% at Lyric itself. He is a little younger than me, just by a...

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Stars and Stripes Forever!

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2010 | 1:23 PM

So we marked the Fourth of July the right way in London - in the Chicago Rib Shack in Knightsbridge. BBQ ribs and Budweiser... and then a walk in Hyde Park. But we were still recovering from the flight so we took it easy.

But it was good to be...

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Sunday Fun Day

(1) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 12:01 PM

The day began badly with the English team being knocked out of the World Cup quite comprehensively at the hands of Germany. 4-1 is a poor show - even if you take into account that the referee was looking the other way when England scored another goal. Soccer is not...

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Good news, bad news department

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2010 | 12:03 PM

I think that we could live with this - The English National Opera's new opera based on Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, is all set to be a sensational hit. The bad news is that the demand for tickets is so high that ENO's website has...

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Downtown elegance

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2010 | 6:29 PM

Chicago is a great sports town with major league teams for Football, Baseball (two of them!), Basketball and Hockey. Hockey is the thing of the moment - the Blackhawks are two up in their best of seven Stanley Cup Final series against Philadelphia. Saturday's game was a high scoring thriller,...

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Memorial Day weekend

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 11:05 AM

Chicago has been invaded by visitors, and by its own residents I guess as well. The city is en fête big time. And with the coming, and already present, respite from the rigors of the winter what is there not to celebrate?

I guess the picture below gives you who...

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What are we here for?

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 12:08 PM

At the end of our short season it seems to be a legitimate question to ask. And it is a question that I ask from time to time during the rest of the year.

Let me give a few answers and a context.

When I came to Chicago in 1999...

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Slowly But Surely...

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2010 | 10:43 AM

....we crawl methodically through the final stages of the preparation of this splendid opera, Jake Heggie's Three Decembers. I was thrilled that we managed to get Jake away from the piano this afternoon and out into the auditorium to see this opera for the first time. He has played the...

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