Conductor Aprea departs Palm Beach Opera
Conductor Bruno Aprea has left Palm Beach Opera.
The Italian maestro, who restored luster, vitality and musical consistency to the West Palm Beach company in the chaotic years following the death of longtime artistic director Anton Guadagno has abruptly left the company he led for the past seven years after rejecting his contract for the upcoming season.
Attempts to reach Aprea Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Aprea’s contract was scheduled to run through 2014. Palm Beach Opera’s general director Daniel Biaggi said that Aprea did not accept the terms of the contract offered to him for the 2012-13 season.
“He in the end elected not to accept the contract,” said Biaggi. Asked if there was a significant decrease in Aprea’s salary or authority, Biaggi first said no, then stated that he didn’t want to discuss the contract particulars.
While artistically, Palm Beach Opera has received largely positive critical notices, the company has been suffering financially in recent seasons. PBO went from four to three productions and last season eliminated its Monday afternoon matinees entirely.
Biaggi said that there were no plans to further cut the company season.
Biaggi did not believe that Aprea’s sudden departure—and the murky circumstances surrounding it—-would lead some to think the company was returning to a period of hectic internal upheaval like that of a decade ago. “I don’t think so. We’ve just completed restructuring and the vision and the rest of the leadership team remain the same.”
Longtime PBO patron and board member Helen K. Persson said she was concerned about the situation and wanted more information about why such an effective conductor was leaving the company.
“I’m worried about the whole situation,” she said. “I think he was a very good conductor. He got so much out of that orchestra.”
Aprea’s first appearance at Palm Beach Opera was in 2003 when he led well-received performances of Lucia di Lammermooor. He became music director at the start of the 2005-2006 season.
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Wed Sep 26, 2012
at 5:19 pm