Alexander Pereira, born in 1947 in Vienna, worked initially in tourism management and then for Olivetti for twelve years. In his free time, he studied vocal performance. From 1979 to 1983, he was a board member for the Frankfurt Bach Concerts; in 1984 he was appointed Secretary General of the Vienna Konzerthaus, where he managed to modernize the concert scene and attract a new and younger audience. From the 1991/92 season till 2012, Alexander Pereira was Director of Zurich Opera House, where he began his tenure with an acclaimed Robert Wilson production of Lohengrin. From the start, Alexander Pereira realized that the continuous development of the ensemble was his most important task. He also attached great importance to encouraging promising young singers, staging productions in accessible form and involving audiences, as well as to co-operating with great artists. The central goal of Alexander Pereira’s Zurich programming is to present the great repertoire of opera, from Mozart to Verdi, although the house has also won acclaim for its contemporary productions. Schlafes Bruder by Herbert Willi, based on the novel by Robert Schneider, was commissioned by the Opera House and premiered in 1996, and in 1998, Heinz Holliger’s opera Schneewittchen, based on a story by Robert Walser, saw its first performance. These were followed by Beat Furrer’s Invocation and HK Gruber’s opera Der Herr Nordwind in 2005. In addition, less well-known works in the repertoire are regularly included in the program, such as Rameau’s Les Boréades, Haydn’s L’anima del filosofo, the operetta Simplicius by Johann Strauss, Giordano’s La cena delle beffe, Wolf-Ferrari’s Sly, Schubert’s Fierrabras, Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis, Chabrier’s L’Etoile und Halévy’s Clari. Since the autumn of 1996, he also held the post of Artistic Director and was a member of the Artistic Committee of the Zurich Festival, in whose creation he played a leading role and which took place for the first time in the summer of 1997. Lately, Alexander Pereira focused much of his attention on shaping an active and diverse education program for the Zurich Opera House, and on creating an increased presence for the Zurich Opera productions on the international DVD market.
Since October 1, 2011, Alexander Pereira is Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival. In October 2014 he will assume the position of Artistic Director of the Teatro alla Scala in Milano.