Canadian Opera Company (COC) Music Director, Johannes Debus graduated from the Hamburg Conservatoire before being engaged as répétiteur and, subsequently, Kapellmeister by Frankfurt Opera where he acquired an extensive repertoire from Mozart to Thomas Adès, and worked closely with such conductors as Paolo Carignani, Markus Stenz and Sebastian Weigle.
At home both in contemporary music and the core repertoire, he has conducted a wide range of world premières and works of the 20th and 21st century notably Salvatore Sciarrino’s Macbeth and Luciano Berio’s Un re in ascolto. He has cooperated with internationally acclaimed ensembles such as “Ensemble Intercontemporain”, “Ensemble Modern”, “Klangforum Wien” and “Musikfabrik”.
As a guest conductor he has appeared at several international festivals such as the Biennale di Venezia, Bregenz and Schwetzingen Festivals, Festival d’Automne in Paris, Lincoln Center Festival, Ruhrtriennale, Suntory Summer Festival and Spoleto Festival.
He conducts regularly at Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Staatsoper unter den Linden Berlin and Frankfurt Opera and has appeared in new productions at English National Opera and Opéra National de Lyon.
In 2008 Johannes Debus conducted Prokofiev’s War and Peace for Canadian Opera Company. Such was his success with the piece and rapport with the company that he was immediately offered the Music Directorship.
In 2010 Johannes Debus was invited to replace James Levine in a performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was subsequently invited to replace Sir Colin Davis in works by Mozart and Haydn in four subscription concerts marking his Symphony Hall debut. He made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival in the summer of 2012 and with the Toronto Symphony in January 2013 as well as making his debut with the Philharmonia in London.
He recently returned to Frankfurt to conduct The Adventures of Mr Broucek and Rusalka.
Recent productions for COC this season include Falstaff, Die Walküre, Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Schönberg’s Erwartung
In 2014/15 he returned to Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra and conducted the Nashville, New Jersey and Montreal Symphonies and the National Arts Centre orchestra in Ottawa. He made his debut at the BBC Proms with Britten Sinfonia in September 2014 and conducted a new production of The Tales of Hoffmann at the 2015 Bregenz Festival.
In 2015/16 he will make his debuts with the San Diego Symphony and Komische Oper, Berlin (Le nozze di Figaro) will return to Frankfurt Opera (The Cunning Little Vixen) and to the Blossom Festival with the Cleveland Orchestra. With COC he will conduct the world première of Canadian Barbara Monk-Feldman’s Pyramus and Thisbe, Wagner’s Siegfried and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Johannes will make his Metropolitan Opera debut in 16/17 conducting Salome.