29 August 2012

Frédéric Chaslin, Santa Fe Opera's Chief Conductor, Resigns From Company

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Frédéric Chaslin, Santa Fe Opera's chief conductor, has resigned from his post at the New Mexico company in order to focus on composing and other conducting commitments, the company announced on Tuesday. 

Chaslin, a protege of Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez, has performed as a concert pianist and has composed orchestral pieces, movie soundtracks and operas. A native of Paris, Chaslin begins his tenure as the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in September and will commence a forthcoming major recording project with that orchestra that will require considerable time.

“On behalf of the entire Company I wish to thank Maestro Chaslin for his enormous musical contribution during the past two seasons,” Charles MacKay, Santa Fe Opera's general director, said in a press release issued by the company today. “We regret his departure and wish him the very best.”

Chaslin made his Santa Fe Opera debut in 2009 leading performances of Laurent Pelly's then new production of La Traviata. In October 2010, he was contracted for a three-year term as the company's chief conductor — an appointment that surprised many industry observers in light of the conductor's brief affiliation with the company. Chaslin's appointment brought an end to a nearly two-year interregnum of musical administrators at the company following the 2008 resignation of chief conductor Edo de Waart, who, in turn, replaced former music director Alan Gilbert.

This past season, Chaslin led performances of Tosca and the company premiere of Rossini's Maometto II, and also appeared in the company's opening gala, "Susan Graham and Friends." In June, the company announced that Chaslin had been scheduled to conduct 2013 performances of the revival of Pelly's production of La Traviata as well as a new production of La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein. According to an article published yesterday in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Chaslin will no longer conduct these performances, though the company has yet to announce replacements.    

Company officials report that a search for Chaslin's successor will commence in the fall. spacer 

More information can be found at the Santa Fe Opera and the OPERA NEWS Archives (here, here and here).

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