Neil Weisensel is a white settler opera composer and conductor based in Winnipeg, Canada. His eight critically and popularly acclaimed operas have been performed over 240 times across Canada and the United States. On March 9th, 2019 the Regina Symphony Orchestra premiered his newest work, a music theatre piece about Louis Riel entitled Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North (libretto by Suzanne Steele). This piece will also be performed by the Winnipeg Symphony in October 2021. Vancouver Opera premiered Neil’s anti-bullying opera Stickboy (libretto by spoken word superstar Shane Koyczan) in October of 2014. In 2016 Winnipeg’s Little Opera Company presented the world premiere of his 1997 opera Merry Christmas Stephen Leacock, which was subsequenty remounted by Saskatoon Opera and the Saskatoon Symphony in fall of 2018.
Neil collaborated with Michael Bublé on a set of big-band music and co-wrote a few songs, one of which garnered a Genie nomination in the Best Song category for the film Here’s To Life. With his wife, the vocalist/songwriter Rachel Landrecht, Neil has performed for former US President Bill Clinton, Oscar-winner Al Gore, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a host of other luminaries.
Neil has received grants, awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (U.S.), the Canada Council for the Arts, The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Manitoba, Winnipeg, and British Columbia Arts Councils, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, among others. His concert music, stage works and arrangement have been performed by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, the Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver), Opera Lyra Ottawa, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Vancouver New Music, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Edmonton Opera, The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, and Edmonton’s Hammerhead Consort. Neil serves as Adjunct Professor (Theory, Composition) at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, where he lives with Rachel and daughter Miracle.