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National Endowment for the Arts Statement on the Death of NEA Opera Honoree Lotfi Mansouri

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Lotfi Mansouri

2009 NEA Opera Honoree Lotfi Mansouri. Photo by Henry Grossman.

It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of 2009 NEA Opera Honoree Lotfi Mansouri. Widely known for pioneering the use of supertitles in opera, Mansouri was a prolific opera stage director, having directed productions at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, and Milan's La Scala, as well as other opera productions both nationally and internationally. Mansouri served as General Director of the Canadian Opera Company for more than a decade, followed by a 14-year career as General Director of the San Francisco Opera. At San Francisco Opera Mansouri established the Pacific Visions program to commission new operas and to present rarely performed works. Among the commissioned works were Conrad Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons, Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk, André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. When he learned of his 2009 NEA Opera Honor award, Lotfi said, "For me, opera is the greatest art form created by the human mind, and my goal has always been to share it with everyone. It is a magnificent artistic banquet, with something for every taste."

Visit the NEA's website for a full bio on Lotfi Mansouri.