Hailed by The New York Times as “the conductor of choice for opera”, Anne Manson has come to the forefront as one of the most exciting interpreters of opera in America today. Of her 2010 performance in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites at The Juilliard School, the New York Daily News reported that Manson’s “magnificent” conducting delivered ”one of the most thrilling musical experiences I’ve ever had”, and her 2013 interpretation of The Cunning Little Vixen was acclaimed by The New York Times as “glowing, textured and rhapsodic”. After leading New York City Opera in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa – a production that earned her the company’s Richard F. Gold Debut Award – The Times said Manson “has broken into the New York opera scene, and it’s about time”. She also recently received Canada’s DORA Award for outstanding musical direction, for her work with the Canadian Opera Company on Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Manson conducted Philip Glass’ Orphée with Portland Opera, and a subsequent recording of the opera was chosen as one of Opera News “Critics’ Pick”s of the year. Other opera projects include: Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and the U.S. premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio at Minnesota Opera; Mozart’s Così fan tutte at San Francisco Opera; and Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers at The Juilliard School, of which The Financial Times raved “The chief attraction was the conductor, Anne Manson. She untied every rhythmic and melodic knot of this naughty opéra bouffon with flair that buoyed both a splendid orchestra and an eager cast… it was an elegant achievement”. She has also conducted the US premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen! at Juilliard, productions of Madama Butterfly and Glass' Galileo Galilei for Portland Opera (released on CD in November 2013), Harbison's Great Gatsby for the Aspen Music Festival, and Bizet's Pearl Fishers for Virginia Opera. She is the conductor and a mentor for the Washington National Opera's acclaimed American Opera Initiative. Upcoming performances include Katya Kabanova for Spoleto Festival USA and Hansel and Gretel for Minnesota Opera in a new production by Doug Varone.
Anne Manson is presently the Music Director of Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (MCO), with whom she has led hugely successful tours with Isabel Bayrakdarian and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Her recording with the MCO of Philip Glass' Third Symphony and piano concerto based on Glass’ Oscar nominated soundtrack for "The Hours" was recently released by the Orange Mountain Music label – Gramophone magazine called it an “absorbing and impressive performance [of] brilliant ease and assurance”. Their newest release, Troubadour & the Nightingale, features Ms. Bayrakdarian singing Ravel’s Kaddish and works of Serouj Kradjian.
The New York Times described Ms. Manson’s debut with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall as “outstanding”, and she works regularly with the Orquesta de Extremadura and several other orchestras in Spain. Continuing her commitment to both young artists and young composers, she maintains an association with the Washington National Opera’s young artists program and works regularly on large-scale projects with the Juilliard School.
Anne Manson was the first woman to conduct at the Salzburg Festival – where she led the Vienna Philharmonic in Boris Godunov in 1994 – and served as Music Director of the Kansas City Symphony from 1999 to 2003. She came to prominence early in her career as Music Director of London’s Mecklenburgh Opera (from 1988 to 1996), programming operas ranging from Mozart to 20th-century rarities and new commissions. Other major engagements have included the premiere of Scott Wheeler’s Democracy (commissioned by Placido Domingo) for Washington National Opera, Carlisle Floyd’s Susanna for Grand Theatre de Genève, and Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma for Stockholm Royal Opera. She has guest conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others.