Harry Bicket, Chief Conductor
Harry Bicket, the eminent British-born conductor, was appointed The Santa Fe Opera’s new Chief Conductor in 2013. He has since led the Company’s first performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio in 2014 and will return in the 2015 season with a new production of La Finta Giardiniera. He previously appeared with the Company to lead three operas: Agrippina in 2004, Platée in 2007, and Radamisto in 2008.
“One of the most important and sought-after conductors working today, Maestro Harry Bicket brings a wealth of experience to Santa Fe,” said 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 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,” said Bicket. “Preparation is meticulous, making sure that the artistic product is the very best.”
Maestro Bicket, 53, 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 Maestro 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 Giulio Cesare with David Daniels and Natalie Dessay in the 2012-2013 season. In 2007 Maestro Bicket was named Artistic Director of The English Concert, which he continues to lead.
In the 2014-2015 season Maestro Bicket will guest conduct with Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Extensive commitments with The English Concert include concert performances of Alcina and Hercules at various venues across the globe including the Barbican, Theatre de Champs Elysées, and Carnegie Hall. In December Maestro Bicket will conduct a Bach program with acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies at Christchurch Spitalfields.
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.