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La Monnaie - Gerard Mortier (1943-2014)

Gerard Mortier (1943-2014)

With much sadness we have learnt of the death of Gerard Mortier. All of us here at La Monnaie would like to express our heartfelt sympathy at the loss of this charismatic and energetic figure, and a number of us can feel blessed to have been able to work alongside him for a lengthy period of time.

Gerard Mortier’s passing signifies a loss beyond all words for the opera world and most especially for La Monnaie. If La Monnaie today takes a leading position in the European opera landscape it is largely down to this man. For ten long years, not only did he put his stamp in no uncertain manner on the organisation and the artistic policy of this opera house, but his visionary ideas on opera also continued later on to be a source of inspiration for his successors.

With the passing of Gerard Mortier La Monnaie has lost a great former director and an irreplaceable reference and friend, whose artistic legacy has been kept alive since his departure, and whose vision will guide us all long after his death. His outspoken artistic-intellectual and independent spirit always made well-defined choices which were time and again clear and often controversial. Naturally, this didn’t always make him only friends, but it cannot be denied that he played a vital role in determining the appearance of the cultural world in our country and further afield for many years to come.

>> biography of Gerard Mortier


« Dear Gerard, I would like to say a few words on a more personal note. No stranger to this either, you showed your respect for a project, a decision, a choice in your own special way, and neither did you shrink from speaking your mind whenever you saw things from a different point of view. I have always kept your beautifully-written cards as souvenirs that mean so much to me. There is no other way than with respect to look back on your many accomplishments. Most of them can truthfully be termed historic, and even though, as with us all, not every project was a great success, the quality and vision has inalienably you written all over it. One of exactingness, excellence, perseverance, innovation – just as with Mahler, 'Tradition' for you was always 'Schlamperei'.
Your present Real season in Madrid brings everything together that you have stood for your whole life: creation of new works, exciting and unexpected viewpoints, insights, musical revolutionary interpretations, rediscoveries, familiar works in fantastic productions, a role for expressive artists... If only for that you deserve First prize, a career prize, the title of Best Opera house and Best Programming of the Season, for a Career, from an Era... I am convinced that our professional community would grant you that, simply because you have earned it.
On behalf of us all here at La Monnaie, the endless row of artists who have given of their best and more here, and naturally on behalf of our audiences, too many to count, we want to thank you for your passion and enthusiasm that among other things were the foundations for the present success of our institution today.
I think that the most endearing homage paid to you should come from Mozart and more specifically a quote from his Zauberflöte that you made your own motto on which you always fell back on in life: „Sei standhaft, duldsam und verschwiegen!“
A lesson in life for us all. For which we thank you. Rest now in peace. »


A condolences book is at your disposal in our Entrance Hall.
Our new world creation of Philippe Boesmans'
Au monde will be dedicated to Gerard Mortier.
La Monnaie will organise in the near future an homage to its former general director.