Friday, November 12, 2004

The Scotsman stays

Donald Runnicles created a stir recently when he announced that he would leave the United States if Bush won the elections. (I feel his pain...) But I guess he won't be leaving after all, since the SF Opera Association has just renewed maestro Runnicles' contract thru 2009.

Some details from the SF Opera's announcement:



SAN FRANCISCO-The San Francisco Opera Association and General Director Pamela Rosenberg announced today that Music Director Donald Runnicles’ contract has been extended through 2009. The Maestro, whose contract was due to conclude in 2006, will remain with the Company at least though the close of the 2008-09 Season.

“San Francisco Opera continues to play a vital role in the life and community of this great city,” said Runnicles. “It has been a privilege over the past twelve years to help shape the Company and I have had an enormous enjoyment working with Pamela. I am honored to have the chance to deepen my relationship with this extraordinary organization and am excited about its future.”

“My partnership with Donald has been one of the highlights of my career,” Rosenberg commented. “His leadership of the Orchestra has been inspiring and he has contributed immeasurably to the artistic success of this Company. He is a treasure for San Francisco Opera and for this community.”

Opera Association President Karl O. Mills remarked: “Donald is simply one of the finest conductors of opera anywhere. Here in San Francisco he has brought this Company to the musical forefront. Whether it is Puccini, Verdi, Shostakovich or Messiaen, when he steps onto the podium you know you are in for something very special. He makes the music come alive with energy and emotion and brings out the full potential of all who work with him. We feel so fortunate to have him here as a key member of our ongoing artistic leadership.”

Maestro Runnicles, who turns 50 on Tuesday, November 16, will be honored by San Francisco Opera with a special birthday concert and separate gala at the War Memorial Opera House. As part of the festivities, there will be an investiture ceremony on the Opera House stage where British Consul General Martin Uden will present Maestro Runnicles the insignia of an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. He was named an OBE in the Queen’s birthday list of honors announced in June 2004. <<<<

© 2004 C. Chang

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