Harry Bicket, Chief Conductor
Harry Bicket, the eminent British-born conductor, has been appointed The Santa Fe Opera’s new Chief Conductor. He will assume the position on October 1, 2013, and be on the podium in the 2014 season leading the Company’s first performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
“One of the most important and sought-after conductors working today, Harry Bicket brings a wealth of experience to Santa Fe,” says General Director Charles MacKay. “He is in demand by opera companies, symphony orchestras, and chamber music venues world-wide, and his acceptance of the position is a coup for the Company.” The new Chief Conductor has appeared with the Company to lead three operas: Agrippina in 2004, Platée in 2007, and Radamisto in 2008.
The conductor describes Santa Fe as an oasis of excellence in these times of artistic and financial pressures. “What Santa Fe does is more and more rare — giving its artists time and space to breathe. Preparation is meticulous, making sure that the artistic product is the very best. 2014 can’t come soon enough.”
Mr. Bicket, 52, was born in Liverpool and educated at Oxford and at the Royal College of Music. He holds dual citizenship in the U.K. and the U.S., as does his wife, Audrey, who is an environmental epidemiologist serving in the Center for Environmental Policy at the Imperial College, London. They have a daughter, Amelia.
Stepping in at the last minute to conduct Peter Sellars’ production of Handel’s Theodora at Glyndebourne in 1996 brought Mr. Bicket international attention. He has since appeared in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, including Covent Garden, Bavarian State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and many others. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004 in Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and David Daniels, and was immediately re-engaged for Julius Caesar with David Daniels and Natalie Dessay in the 2013 season. Future engagements include Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Rusalka at the Houston Grand Opera, and the continuation of a three-year cycle of Handel operas at Carnegie Hall that began with Radamisto this spring, to be followed by Theodora and Alcina. In 2007 Mr. Bicket was named Artistic Director of The English Concert, which he will continue to lead.
His discography includes a collection of Handel opera arias with Renée Fleming, and other discs of arias by Gluck, Handel, and Mozart with David Daniels, arias by Mozart and Gluck with Susan Graham, and Handel arias with Ian Bostridge.