Robertson to depart Florida Grand Opera at the end of this season
Florida Grand Opera announced Thursday that Stewart Robertson will depart the company in May, a year earlier than his contract was to expire. Two weeks ago the company stated that the music director’s contract, which runs through the spring of 2010, would not be renewed.
“I have a lot of respect for Stewart and we really wanted him to finish his contract next season,” said Robert Heuer, general director. “But I think Stewart looked at the standard repertoire and felt it was better to move on now, and let the company bring in some guest conductors next season.”
Earlier this month FGO said that Robertson would lead three of next season’s four productions. In a released statement Thursday, Florida Grand Opera said that that the Scottish conductor has decided to relinquish his position a year early due to “growing responsibilities as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Florida-based Atlantic Classical Orchestra, an orchestra experiencing a dynamic phase of growth, and his increasingly busy schedule as a guest conductor both in North America and Europe.”
Robertson added, “Despite speculation that my departure may be a reaction to critical disfavor, or financial pressure at FGO . . . I want to emphasize that my departure is for artistic reasons alone. As a conductor, my interest in innovative repertory and my desire for greater artistic control of projects has resulted in my decision to move on.”
Heuer said that the company was working at booking guest conductors for the three 2009-2010 productions, that would have been helmed by Robertson. In the interim, artistic and music responsibilities are being shared by Heuer and Michael Lonergan, director of artistic administration.
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Thu Feb 19, 2009
at 11:21 am