Harry Bicket is the new chief conductor of Santa Fe Opera. Press release below:
HARRY BICKET TO BECOME
CHIEF CONDUCTOR OF
THE SANTA FE OPERA
Eminent conductor Harry Bicket will be The Santa Fe Opera’s next Chief Conductor, it has been announced by the company’s General Director Charles MacKay. Mr. Bicket’s appointment becomes effective October 1, 2013, and he will return to the company in the summer of 2014 when he will conduct Beethoven’s Fidelio.
Mr. Bicket travelled to Santa Fe for the announcement on April 24, during a break from performances of Giulio Cesare with David Daniels and Natalie Dessay at the Metropolitan Opera. The New York Times review hailed “the excellent conductor … [who] draws a lithe, lyrical, and stylish performance of this great score.”
“The entire Santa Fe Opera family is thrilled to have Harry join the Company and welcomes him to Santa Fe,” Mr. MacKay said, adding “Harry Bicket is one of the most important and sought-after conductors working today, and brings a wealth of experience to Santa Fe. He is in demand by opera companies, symphony orchestras and chamber music venues; his ability to commit to the responsibilities of Chief Conductor is a coup for the Company.”
Mr. Bicket commented, “I am thrilled to be joining a company that has such a fierce commitment to the highest artistic standards as well as to adventurous programming. My work with this orchestra has been some of the most fulfilling of my career, and I look forward to many years of collaboration to come”.
Mr. MacKay explained that the selection came after several months of careful deliberation with the Orchestra Committee, made up of members elected by their colleagues, as well as with a Task Force from the Board of Directors. The Orchestra was enthusiastic about the work Mr. Bicket has done in Santa Fe in past seasons, including Agrippina in 2004, Platée in 2007 and Radamisto in 2008. His appointment was met with equal enthusiasm. Mr. Bicket’s responsibilities will be to maintain and enhance the artistic standards and quality of the Opera orchestra.
Mr. Bicket, 52, was born in Liverpool and educated at Oxford and at the Royal College of Music. He holds dual citizenship in the U.K. and the U.S., as does his wife, Audrey, who is an environmental epidemiologist serving in the Center for Environmental Policy at the Imperial College, London, with the rank of Assistant Professor. They have a daughter Amelia.
After completing his studies Mr. Bicket became sub-organist at Westminster Abbey. He was a member of Britain’s leading early music organizations including Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert, and the Monteverdi Orchestra. His talents were highlighted when he stepped in at the last minute to conduct Peter Sellars’ production of Handel’s Theodora at Glyndebourne in 1996. He has since appeared in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world including Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic and many others. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004 in Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and David Daniels, and was immediately re-engaged for Giulio Cesare. Future engagements include Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rusalka at the Houston Grand Opera, and the continuation of a three-year cycle of Handel operas with The English Concert at Carnegie Hall, which began with Radamisto this spring, to be followed by Theodora in 2014. In 2007, Mr. Bicket was named Artistic Director of The English Concert, a role he will continue to maintain.
His discography includes two acclaimed recordings of Handel opera arias, with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Renée Fleming, and other discs of arias by Gluck, Handel and Mozart with David Daniels, arias by Mozart and Gluck with Susan Graham, and Handel arias with Ian Bostridge.