According to an Aug. 11 press statement, Alden replaces Diane Paulus, who has withdrawn because of scheduling conflicts due to her new position as Artistic Director for American Repertory Theatre. This marks Alden's COT debut. "I'm thrilled to have Christopher Alden stage Mozart's wonderful final opera for Chicago Opera Theater," said General Director Brian Dickie. "COT continues to make our operas more innovative and intriguing, and Alden fits in perfectly with this mission."
Christopher Alden's career, which spans 30 years, has seen him producing opera with such companies as Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and San Francisco Opera. He has also co-directed, along with his twin brother David Alden, the Mozart / da Ponte opera cycle for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim.
"COT has had a long and wonderful relationship with Diane, and I am extremely proud of the work she's done for COT: Orfeo, L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Don Giovanni to name just a few," Dickie continued. "We wish her the best, and look forward to having her back at COT in due course."
La clemenza di Tito, not seen in Chicago in over 20 years, opens April 18th, 2009. Jane Glover conducts her eighth opera with Chicago Opera Theater. Scenic designer Andrew Cavanaugh Holland, a regular collaborator with Alden, also makes his COT debut.
The production will run for five performances on April 18, 21, 26, 29 and May 1, 2009 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.
Founded in 1974 by Alan Stone, Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, outreach, education and young artist programs.