New Zealand Opera announces new General Director

Brad Cohen

It is with great pleasure that the Board of New Zealand Opera announces the appointment of Brad Cohen as the next General Director of the Company.

Brad Cohen is a musician, working internationally as a conductor, technological innovator, and publisher. He was most recently seen on our shores conducting Verdi’s Macbeth for New Zealand Opera. Since 1998 Mr Cohen has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the Company and takes up the General Director role to consolidate and progress the Company’s strategic direction.

Chair Annabel Holland says, “After a highly competitive and extensive international recruitment process we are delighted to welcome Brad Cohen as General Director, joining the Company in June. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience in the opera sector. Brad has conducted a wide-ranging repertoire throughout the opera houses of the world and has had artistic, managerial, and strategic responsibilities as Artistic Director at West Australian Opera, where he also mentored and coached many artists.”

Mr Cohen has a background in digital music technology innovation companies, which he founded to enrich the musical experience for performers, students, and music-lovers. In these roles Mr Cohen led investment fundraising, recruitment, and management across the globe. He ensured continuity of partnerships and developed valuable stakeholder relationships.

Brad says, “Thank you to everyone – at NZ Opera and beyond – for your congratulations and welcome on my appointment. I appreciate it very much, and I look forward to meeting you once I arrive. For me, opera is the expression of a community, telling stories through the power of the singing voice. I am honoured that the Board of NZ Opera has invited me to be part of opera’s ongoing story in NZ. I am particularly looking forward to working with our choruses and young artists, to joining the Company on our upcoming production of Così fan tutte, and to planning future seasons with the NZ Opera team. Most of all, I am excited to be able to play my part in ensuring a sustainable future for opera in New Zealand. I look forward to the challenges and the delights of our journey ahead. With my very best wishes, Brad.”

The Board would also like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the leadership and creativity with which the retiring General Director, Thomas de Mallet Burgess, reimagined opera in Aotearoa New Zealand and provided a variety of opportunities for many to engage with the art form, while successfully navigating the nation’s pandemic-affected years.