Brian Dickie has worked in opera for more than fifty years and stepped down in August 2012 as General Director of Chicago Opera Theater where he had been since 1999.
He began his opera career at the Glyndebourne Festival in England at the age of 20 in 1962, as assistant to the Head of Music Staff, Jani Strasser. It was at Glyndebourne that year when he became friendly with Leyla Gencer while she was singing the Countess to Mirella Freni’s Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.
He remained at Glyndebourne for twenty-seven years with increasing responsibilities. He was a leading member of the team which established Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and became the company’s first Administrator in 1967, as well as serving as Opera Manager for the Festival. He was appointed General Administrator of Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1981.
Brian Dickie also served as Artistic Director of the Wexford Festival 1967-1973, and as General Director of the Canadian Opera Company 1989-1993. He was Artistic Adviser to the Opéra de Nice 1994-97, and General Director of the European Union Opera project 1996-98, recruiting singers for the company from each member country of the European Union.
He has been Chairman of the Jury for Pre-selections for the Bertelsmann Foundation’s biennial Neue Stimmen Competition since 1999. In this capacity he has been responsible for auditioning singers in Asia, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and both North and South America.
He was Chairman of the jury of the Toronto Bi-centennial Mozart competition in 1991, and between 1999 and 2012 was a regular jury member for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, at both district and regional level. He was a member of the jury the final stage in 2007 that was the subject of the Metropolitan Opera’s documentary film Audition.
He was a member of the Jury of the Montreal International Voice competition in June 2015, and also conducted auditions for Neue Stimmen in Asia, Europe, South Africa, and North and South America throughout the spring and summer of 2015.
He serves on the Artistic Advisory Committee of England’s Garsington Opera summer festival.