Artistic Director

Dwight Bennett (Conductor) General & Artistic Director of Royal Opera Canada and Opera Mississauga began his studies with Karel Ancerl in Toronto. He went on to study in Europe with Franco Ferrara at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Kiril Kondrashin in Hilversum, and Bernard Haitink at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. He worked with Bernard Haitink in the Mozart productions in Glyndbourne with the London Philharmonic. After winning first prize at the Heinz Unger Conductor’s Competition, Dwight Bennett began his conducting career with the Canadian Opera Company where he conducted over 100 operatic performances in North America. He has received outstanding reviews for his operatic conducting.

While serving as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Windsor Symphony, Mr. Bennett conducted complete symphonic cycles of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. He appears often as guest conductor with orchestras in Europe and North America, and records with the CBC Radio Orchestras in Canada and with various companies in Europe.

He was assistant conductor on numerous occasions over 4 seasons at the Vienna State Opera, and was Resident Conductor with the Canadian Opera Company for 4 seasons. In 1997, he was appointed Chief House Conductor and Head of Music of the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra in Kyiv. He has also worked at the Strasbourg Festival.

He has conducted most of the standard operatic repertoire, including for example, over 80 performances of La Bohème, many productions of Così fan tutte, and over 60 performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Verdi’s La Traviata.

Mr. Bennett has worked with eminent singers and directors from all over the world. Some of the many include: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Aprile Milo, Louis Quilico, Edita Gruberova, Kathleen Battle, Alessandra Mark, Monte Jaffe, Maureen Forester, Peter Dvorsky, Cesare Siepi, Grace Bumbry, Victor Braun, Vasilly Gerello, Roberto Aronica, Fabio Armiliato, Ermanno Mauro, Roberto Alagna, Ben Heppner, Lotfi Mansouri, Christopher Alden, Robert Carsen and Franco Zeffirelli.

Recent engagements include conducting opera and symphonic performances in 12 European cities including Dmitri Hvorostovsky and La Bohème at the Kyiv Opera, The Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly, Carmen, and Lucia. Recently Mr. Bennett conducted six performances of Bizet's Carmen in the Netherlands, and recorded two CD's in Amsterdam's renowned Concertgebouw. He conducted performances of Aida in Florence, Italy followed by concerts Verdi’s Requiem in the Netherlands including at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Next season in addition to his orchestral concerts, which include conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan and Moscow, his opera conducting includes performances in North America, Europe and Asia of La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Madama Butterfly, Macbeth, Der Freischütz, La Bohème, and Aida. Quotes from the Press Dwight Bennett is obviously not only an expert opera conductor but something of an operatic magician.

Quotes from the Press

Dwight Bennett is obviously not only an expert opera conductor but something of an operatic magician.
- The Toronto Star

"In the orchestral pit, Dwight Bennett led the musicians with the hand of a master." -
- Le Droit, Ottawa-Hull

"Under Maestro Bennett's baton the orchestra played with superlative energy and style creating a concert that will be remembered for many years to come." -
- Today, Kyiv Ukraine

"Perhaps the most telling feature of the evening was Dwight Bennett's conducting. He clearly knows the score cover to cover. The tempi he adopted had an invariable feeling of rightness, the singers given room to breathe. With conducting such as this, it can hardly be surprising that the orchestra and singers responded as they did, with keenness and sensitivity"
- The Journal, Edmonton

"His conducting was crisp, technically solid and apparently inspiring to his musicians who put out every bit of bow for him."
- Detroit Free Press

"Guest Conductor Dwight Bennett had the Hamilton Philharmonic playing with rare elation and freedom. The evening ended with a glorious reading of Beethoven Symphony No.4 to which Bennett brought many insights and infused with brightness and tremendous vigour."
- The Spectator, Hamilton

"In Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Dwight Bennett adroitly conducted his orchestra drawing attention to the agile strings."
- The Herald-Examiner, Los Angeles

"Bennett came on as superior Mozartian."
- San Francisco Examiner

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