Bruno Bartoletti (Sesto Fiorentino, 10 June 1926 – Florence, 9 June 2013) was an Italian operatic conductor. His active international career lasted from 1953 to 2007, and he specialized in the Italian repertory and contemporary works. He was particularly noted for his 51-year association with Lyric Opera of Chicago, as co-artistic director, artistic director, principal conductor, and artistic director emeritus. He also served as Artistic Director of both the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma (1965–1973) and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1985–1991), and as principal conductor of the Danish Royal Opera (1957–1960), in addition to frequent work as a guest conductor at various major opera houses.
Sesto Fiorentino, known locally as just Sesto, is a municipality (comune) in the Metropolitan City of Florence, Tuscany, central Italy.
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, and over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area.
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.
Bartoletti's father was Umberto Bartoletti, a blacksmith, who also played clarinet in a Florence band. As a youth, Bartoletti played the piccolo. A teacher in Florence recognised the young Bartoletti's talent in music, and her husband, the sculptor Antonio Berti, recommended him to the Cherubini Conservatory.There, he studied flute and piano.
Bartoletti later played in the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and subsequently became a staff pianist with the Teatro Comunale Florence, at its centre of vocal training. He was an assistant to such conductors as Artur Rodzinski, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Vittorio Gui and Tullio Serafin. In particular, Serafin encouraged Bartoletti to study conducting.In December 1953, Bartoletti made his professional conducting debut at the Teatro Comunale with Rigoletto . In 1957, he became resident conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, where his work included conducting the Italian premiere of Shostakovich's The Nose . Subsequently, Bartoletti was artistic director of the Rome Opera from 1965 to 1973. He returned to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as its artistic director from 1985 to 1991. Elsewhere in Europe, Bartoletti served as principal conductor of the Royal Danish Opera from 1957 to 1960.
The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino is an annual Italian arts festival in Florence, including a notable opera festival, under the auspices of the Opera di Firenze. The festival occurs between late April into June annually, typically with four operas.
Dimitri Mitropoulos, was a Greek conductor, pianist, and composer. He received international fame both as a major conductor and composer of the 20th century.
Vittorio Gui was an Italian conductor, composer, musicologist and critic.
Bartoletti made his US conducting debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1956, conducting Il trovatore, as a replacement for the indisposed Serafin. In 1964, Bartoletti was named co-artistic director of Lyric Opera, alongside Pino Donati, and served jointly with Donati until 1974. In 1975, Bartoletti became sole artistic director, and held the post until his retirement in 1999. Following his retirement, he had the title of artistic director emeritus for the remainder of his life. Bartoletti began as Lyric Opera's principal conductor in 1964,and served in that capacity until 1999. Over the period from 1956 to 2007, Bartoletti conducted approximately 600 performances of 55 operas with Lyric Opera, with his final conducting appearance at Lyric Opera in a 2007 production of La traviata . His other notable conducting work at Lyric Opera included conducting the US premiere of Britten's Billy Budd in 1970, and the 1978 world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's Paradise Lost .
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicolà Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma. The company was re-organized by Fox in 1956 under its present name and, after her 1981 departure, it has continued to be of one of the major opera companies in the United States. The Lyric is housed in the Civic Opera Building, which the company now owns.
Pino Donati was an Italian composer and for many years artistic director of the Chicago Lyric Opera.
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.
Bartoletti focused almost exclusively on opera in his career, with few conducting engagements in symphonic work.He conducted several world premieres of works by composers such as Luciano Berio, Luigi Dallapiccola, Paul Dessau, Lodovico Rocca, Gian Francesco Malipiero, and Alberto Ginastera ( Don Rodrigo , 1964). His commercial recordings Ponchielli's La Gioconda , Puccini's Manon Lescaut , and La Cena delle Beffe of Umberto Giordano (from the Opernhaus, Zürich, in 1996), as well as DVDs of Death in Venice, La bohème, Giovanna d’Arco, Macbeth, La gazza ladra, and television films of La sonnambula and Tosca.
Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.
Luciano Berio, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian composer. He is noted for his experimental work and also for his pioneering work in electronic music.
Luigi Dallapiccola was an Italian composer known for his lyrical twelve-tone compositions.
The Italian government had bestowed on Bartoletti the rank of Cavaliere di Gran Croce della Repubblica Italiana. He was also a member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, and a winner of the Abbiati Prize. In his later years, Bartoletti taught at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. His final operatic performance was a production of Manon Lescaut in February 2011.
Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini, composed between 1890 and 1893. The story is based on the 1731 novel L'histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost. In 1884 an opera by Jules Massenet entitled Manon, and based on the same novel, was premiered and has also become popular.
Bartoletti was married to the former Rosanna Sandretti, an elementary-school teacher, from 1 July 1953 until her death on 2 August 2011.The marriage produced two daughters, Chiara Bartoletti and Maria Poggi, who both survive Bartoletti. Other survivors include a sister, a brother, and five grandchildren, Livia, Filippo, Arianna, Margherita, and Nicolò.
Riccardo Muti, is an Italian conductor. He holds two music directorships: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini. Previously he held posts at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Muti has been a prolific recording artist and has received dozens of honours, titles, awards and prizes. He is particularly associated with the music of Giuseppe Verdi.
James Conlon is an American conductor of opera, and symphonic and choral works. He is Music Director of Los Angeles Opera and Principal Conductor of the Italian RAI National Symphony Orchestra. He was the long serving director of the two-week Cincinnati May Festival from 1979 through 2016. From 2005 to 2015, he was music director at the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is known for his efforts in reviving music by composers suppressed during the Nazi regime.
Lamberto Gardelli was a Swedish conductor of Italian birth, particularly associated with the Italian opera repertory, especially the works of Giuseppe Verdi.
Fabio Luisi is an Italian conductor. He is general music director of the Zurich Opera, music director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. He is scheduled to become music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2020.
Neil Shicoff is an American Jewish opera singer and cantor known for his lyric tenor singing and his dramatic, emotional acting.
Eugenio Fernandi was an Italian tenor, associated with both lyric and spinto roles.
Daniel Oren is an Israeli conductor.
Roberto Abbado is an Italian opera and symphonic music conductor. Currently he is Artistic Partner of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In 2015 he has been appointed Music Director of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain. From 2018 he's Music Director of the Festival Verdi in Parma. Previously he held the position of Chief Conductor of Münchner Rundfunkorchester.
Piero Bellugi was an Italian conductor from Florence.
Andrea Molino is an Italian composer and conductor. He has first attracted international attention through a video/music theatre work, Those Who Speak In A Faint Voice, a project about capital punishment, and later through the multimedia music theatre projects CREDO and WINNERS.
He has been Musical Director of the Pocket Opera Company Nuremberg (1996–2007). As Artistic Director of the Music Department of Fabrica (2000–2006), he has worked on projects together with Heiner Goebbels, David Moss, Koichi Makigami and others. For the 2007–2008 season he was invited artist at Le Fresnoy, Lille (France). 2009 he was Artistic Director of the World Venice Forum, where he conducted his own multimedia concert Of Flowers And Flames, for the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, in India. Three Mile Island, on the nuclear accident in Pennsylvania in 1979, was first performed in March 2012 at the ZKM in Karlsruhe; the project received the Music Theatre Now Award 2013. His latest opera, - there is no why here -, was premiered at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in April 2014 and was presented in May 2015 in Antwerp at deSingel for the Flemish Opera .
As a conductor he recently performed at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Hampson, Carmen at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and Shostakovich's The Nose, directed by Barrie Kosky for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House. For Opera Australia he had previously conducted Szymanowski's Kròl Roger, Bizet's Carmen, Puccini's Tosca and La Bohème, Verdi's A Masked Ball and Macbeth and Rossini's The Barber of Seville among others. He opened the 2010 concert season of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice with the world premiere of Bruno Maderna’s Requiem; at the Fenice he had opened the Music Biennale 2005 with Goebbels’ Surrogate Cities and conducted the world premieres of Mosca’s Signor Goldoni and Ambrosini's Il Killer di Parole.
His work is documented on many CDs and on DVDs.
Saturno Meletti was an Italian operatic bass-baritone particularly associated with the standard Italian repertory and contemporary works.
Enzo Mascherini was an Italian operatic baritone, one of the leading baritones of his generation.
Nir Kabaretti is an Israeli orchestra conductor.
Mark Steven Doss is a Grammy Award-winning African-American bass-baritone, specializing in opera, concert and recital. He has performed major roles with many international opera companies, including Milan's La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Brussels' La Monnaie, Canadian Opera Company, and Oper Frankfurt. He divides his time between Toronto, Ontario and Erie, Pennsylvania.
Richard Cowan was an American operatic bass-baritone. A National Finalist in the 1985 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and winner of the Grand Prize in the 1987 Concours International de Chant de Paris, Cowan sang leading roles in the opera houses of Europe and North America and was the Artistic Director of the Lyrique en Mer opera festival in Belle Île, which he founded in 1998.
Luca Canonici is an Italian opera singer who has had an active career singing leading tenor roles both in Europe and his native Italy.
PierLuigi Samaritani was a renowned opera director/production designer, who began his career at a young age, working alongside some of the greatest names in theatre, opera and ballet, such as Lila de Nobili, Giancarlo Menotti, Franco Zeffirelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev and many more. Samaritani had an enormous talent, which allowed him to take on all the rolls the theatre, opera and ballet demanded, making sure to always be involved in all aspects of his productions even when delegating. From the creation of his "sketches" of the set, which were more like works of art in and of themselves to the smallest change in an extra’s costume, he was a true perfectionist preoccupied with every detail. His productions graced the stage of countless opera houses and theaters, amongst them La Scala di Milano, Teatro Regio of Parma, The Metropolitan Opera House, American Ballet Theatre and the Festival of Two Worlds at Spoleto, where he collaborated for many years, alongside his dear friend, Gian Carlo Menotti. The Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto founded in 1947 in Spoleto, by Adriano Belli created a special award carrying the name of Pier Luigi Samaritani, awarded each year to the set designer with the best set design of the opera season.
Edoardo Müller was an Italian conductor who was chiefly recognized for his interpretations of bel canto operas. A frequent guest conductor with opera houses internationally, he had a lengthy association with the San Diego Opera which spanned 31 years. He was also an accomplished pianist who accompanied several notable singers in recitals and concerts; including Carlo Bergonzi, Renato Bruson, Montserrat Caballé, José Carreras, Leyla Gencer, Elena Obraztsova, and Renata Tebaldi. His work is preserved on recordings made for the Philips, BMG, Bongiovanni, and Orfeo record labels. He served as conductor for Joyce DiDonato's 2009 CD Colbran, the Muse: Rossini Opera Arias.
| Principal Conductor, Lyric Opera of Chicago |
Andrew Davis (music director)