Gerard Mortier was one of Europe’s most influential opera and festival directors. After starting off his career in Belgium, followed by years of apprenticeship in Germany, Mortier, a trained lawyer, directed the Brussels opera house La Monnaie during the 1980s. In the nineties, he modernised the Salzburg Festival. He was then the founding director of the Ruhr Triennale art festival (2002–2004) before going to the Opéra national de Paris. Finally, Gerard Mortier was director of the Teatro Real in Madrid (2010–2013).