Neil Weisensel is one of the most prolific and most-performed opera composers in Canada. His seven operas, which have been critically and popularly acclaimed, have been performed across the country and in the US. His most recent work, Stickboy, with libretto by spoken word artist Shane Koyczan, was premiered by Vancouver Opera in 2014 and toured around BC in 2016. Weisensel has written 4 operas with acclaimed Canadian stage director/librettist Michael Cavanagh: Gisela in her Bathtub, City Workers in Love, The Bachelor Farmers of the Apocalypse, and The Master’s Stroke, with a new work, entitled Snookered, in development. Their company, Middle Distance Creations, is dedicated to the production and filming of their previous works and creating new works of opera theatre.
Composing in a wide variety of genres, including jazz, rock, ethno-cultural, and world beat, Weisensel has composed music for feature films, stage works, documentaries, and animation, for networks including the CBC, Bravo!, and CTV. He has also performed and recorded with artists such as Michael Bublé, Russill Paul, Noirin Ni Riain and Brian Tate, and with vocalist Rachel Landrecht for luminaries such as Bill Clinton and Al Gore. Neil garnered a Genie nomination in the Best Song category for work on the theme music to the feature film Here’s To Life, which he co-wrote with Michael Bublé.
Weisensel has received grants, awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (U.S.), the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba, Winnipeg, and British Columbia Arts Councils, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, among others. His concert music and stage works have been performed by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, the Arts Club Theatre, 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 currently teaches music at the University of Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Canada where he lives with wife Rachel and daughter Miracle.