From Development server
5 July 2006

Boston Lyric Opera's Stephen Lord Will Not Renew Contract Following 2007-08 Season

Stephen Lord, the music director and principal conductor of Boston Lyric Opera, will not renew his contract with the company after the 2007-08 season, the Boston Globe has reported.

Lord, whose tenure with Boston Lyric Opera dates from 1991, has also been music director at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis since the early 1990s. In addition, he maintains an increasingly busy schedule of guest-conducting duties at North American companies, including Washington National Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Arizona Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera Colorado as well as the Canadian Opera Company. He has also conducted at New York City Opera, and is slated to make opera debuts with San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Dallas Opera. In addition to his podium duties at Boston Lyric Opera, Lord casts the opera performances led by other conductors, and works with production teams.

"I am very proud of my time at BLO and will always look back with great happiness to much of the music making we have accomplished," Lord is quoted as telling the Globe. "I adore my orchestra and the fine work they have done over the years with me, and not for me, which is a principle in my work. But it is now time for someone else to do this job. . . . The two years' notice I have given BLO will allow the company to find a replacement who, I hope, is also dedicated to the discovery and nurturing - nurturing being the key word - of the opera stars of tomorrow."

Lord has led more than two dozen operas during his time with Boston Lyric Opera, several of which have gone down as noteworthy performances by American singers, including Deborah Voigt's performance in the company's Ariadne auf Naxos and Lorraine Hunt Libeberson's only performance of Carmen.

The Globe reports that Boston's managing director Jance Mancini Del Sesto hopes to retain Lord's association with the company, in one capacity or another, with the possibility of bestowing the title of conductor emeritus.

"Stephen's home base is here in New England, and we would like to maintain his presence here in Boston. He has held a lot of hands, kept a lot of heads cool, and warmed a lot of hearts," Del Sesto is quoted as saying.

More information can be found at Boston Lyric Opera and the OPERA NEWS Archives.

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