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.
In 2010, Brian was the recipient of the Annual Cultural Award from the University Club of Chicago.
In 2009 he was named by New City Chicago as one of “The Players—50 people who really perform for Chicago.” That year, New City Chicago also declared “Life as General Director” the “Best local arts, culture or nightlife blog.”
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 20 Chicago premieres including such favorites as Orfeo, Death in Venice, Nixon in China, and this past season’s Giasone. In 2011 he will mark his 21st and 22nd Chicago premieres with the Midwest premiere of Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers and a new production of Charpentier’s Medée.
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 2011 he will audition more than 800 singers on four continents.
Brian sits on the board of Opera America and the Chicago College of Performing Arts.