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Richard Gaddes, General Director at Santa Fe Opera, Will Step Down

Richard Gaddes
Courtesy of Santa Fe Opera
Richard Gaddes, Santa Fe Opera's general director has announced that he plans to retire, the company publicized today, and has asked the Opera's board of directors to plan for an eventual transition in leadership

Gaddes reportedly told the company's board, "I have reached age 65, and the company is in a strong artistic and fiscal position. During my immensely rewarding career here, Santa Fe has become my home, and I intend to remain involved with the Opera for as long as it takes to ensure a smooth transition." Gaddes will officially remain until a successor is in place, most likely staying through next summer's 2008 season.

Gaddes, only the second general in the history of Santa Fe Opera, succeeded the company's founder, John Crosby, following his 2000 retirement. Gaddes was appointed as the company's artistic administrator in 1969 and went on to serve as co-founder/general director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis before returning to Santa Fe, in 1988, as director of the company's apprentice program. His tenure as general director of Santa Fe Opera was notable for his efforts to raise the company's community-profile as well as the opera's installation of an English/Spanish seat-back subtitling system. He was named last year as one of "the 25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera" by OPERA NEWS.

Board president Susan F. Morris will chair a task force to oversee Gaddes' eventual replacement. "Since Richard, has, happily, afforded us the luxury of remaining with us until such time as the appropriate succession plan is in place, I look forward to our ongoing collaboration during that period and to working with the transition task force as it begins its assignment," said Morris.

More information can be found at the New Mexican, the Washington Post, and the OPERA NEWS list of "The 25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera."

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