Robertson to depart Florida Grand Opera at the end of this season

By Lawrence A. Johnson

 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.

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses to “Robertson to depart Florida Grand Opera at the end of this season”

  1. Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm by Dave R.

    In other words, he’s as uninspired by next season’s unimaginative schedule as we are?

    FGO should change its name to Florida Grand Opera Museum.

  2. Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm by Alwa

    I was speaking with an older couple at the Met HD encore showing of Lucia last night. In discussing the well-varied repertory that the Met moviecasts have brought to viewers, they told me that, after looking at the dismal list of 2009-2010 productions, they had decided not to renew their long-standing FGO subscription.

    They told me that they felt a little bit guilty not supporting a local arts organizations, but I replied that the managements have no better instant feedback mechanism than the loss of longtime supporters.

  3. Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 11:23 am by Susan

    Someone who is sitting at a LUCIA movie broadcast is criticizing the repertory for Florida Grand Opera in 2009-2010?! They are doing LUCIA! Yes, they should feel guilty for not supporting the only opera company in Miami. A company that has been a long established contributor to the cultural life of south florida, and continues to promise to its audience some of the highest standards of singing in the country.
    Its easy to throw stones, isn’t it?

  4. Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm by Dave R.

    Some of the highest standards of singing in the country? Compared to who?

    Nobody should feel guilty about not supporting FGO. If you love opera, you should feel guilty about SUPPORTING FGO because every time you buy a ticket to an FGO performance, you’re supporting their lackluster scheduling and casting and saying, “It’s fine by me.”

    Give me a break!

  5. Posted Mar 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm by Ecstatic

    Finally. After dealing with this idiot for 4 years in the pit it’s time for someone with more energy than my 88 year old grandmother to conduct. Nobody should be supporting FGO until they decide whether they want to be a serious local institution and take control of their orchestra, staffing, programming, and budget, and start acting like a grown up Opera Company. Sure Stewie, there was no pressure for you to go. We know you’re crap!

Leave a Comment

Thu Feb 19, 2009
at 11:21 am