Rhinegold Photo credit: Dario Acosta for Santa Fe Opera
Harry Bicket

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Santa Fe Opera announces new leadership team

5:26, 12th February 2018

Robert K. Meya will succeed Charles MacKay as general director of Santa Fe Opera following the 2018 season.

Meya has engaged Canadian Opera Company’s general director Alexander Neef as Santa Fe Opera’s first artistic director, and appointed Harry Bicket, chief conductor since 2013, as the company’s music director (a position most recently held by Alan Gilbert from 2003 to 2007). Neef and Bicket’s new positions will be effective on 1 October 2018.

Charles MacKay will step down after the 2018 season after completing ten seasons as general director and 20 years of cumulative service to Santa Fe Opera. 2018 marks 50 years since the first engagement of his career in opera.

He said that Meya ‘represents a new generation in top-tier opera management’, continuing: ‘Not only does Robert have a stellar record in the industry, he knows our company inside and out, is well-respected by the Board, and understands the community of Santa Fe and the Opera’s unique place in the culture and economy of New Mexico. He has had significant experience in fundraising, marketing, Board relations, finance, and other areas fundamental to the operation of a major opera company.

‘With the superb Santa Fe Opera staff and one of the most dedicated, generous, and engaged Boards any opera leader could want, I know the company will be in great hands.’

SFO artistic director designate Alexander Neef said that his new role would be ‘an exciting opportunity to carry forward the artistic legacy of Santa Fe Opera and continue advancing the operatic art form in one of the most remarkable theaters in the world.’

Harry Bicket said he was ‘thrilled’ by Meya’s appointment and ‘hugely looking forward to working with him and Alexander Neef on planning for future seasons’, adding: ‘Charles’ legacy will continue to grow and expand, and the SFO could not be in safer or more inspirational hands.’

Harry Bicket will be the cover artist for the March issue of Opera Now.

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