In this, the second installment of our “Meet the Artist” series, we highlight the many accomplishments of our Conductor for The Mikado, Stewart Robertson. Maestro Robertson is familiar to Omaha audiences. He previously served as Opera Omaha’s Artistic Director. As a guest artist, Maestro Robertson conducted the world premier of Blizzard Voices during our 2008-2009 season.
The following biography and photo are found at http://www.deanartists.com/conductors/stewart-robertson.html.
“Stewart Robertson thrives on a wide range of musical interests. The music of Mozart, Britten, Puccini, Strauss and an active involvement in new music are mingled with works of many diverse composers and periods from the last three hundred years. Stewart Robertson recently completed a thirteen year tenure as Music Director and Principal conductor of the Florida Grand Opera and is the continuing Music Director of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra. He has recently been named Music Director Emeritus of Glimmerglass Opera in recognition of the phenomenal musical growth the company has achieved under his direction over the last two decades. He returned to Glimmerglass in the summer in 2010 for Copland’s THE TENDER LAND and has recently led productions in Fort Worth (L’ELISIR D’AMORE), Arizona (COSI FAN TUTTE), and for Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera San Jose (ANNA KARENINA). He debuted at the Wexford Festival in Ireland as conductor of Bennett’s MINES OF SULPHER presented at the new opera house built especially for the Festival. In the 2011-2012 season he will on the podium for Utah Opera conducting RIGOLETTO and he also leads Fort Worth Opera’s production of LE NOZZE DE FIGARO.
Equally at home in opera and the concert hall, he has led performances with orchestras as diverse as the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, Mecklenburg Staatskapelle, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Sicily Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nacional of Mexico, the North German Philharmonic, the Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Rome Symphony Orchestra, and the Louisville Orchestra. Highlights include performances at the Lille Festival in France with the Orchestra of Maastricht, Igor Oistrakh, soloist and at the Concertgebouw with the Ukraine State Philharmonic. He has also led this orchestra both in Kiev and on tour in Holland and has recorded with them symphonies of Shostakovitch, and Prokoviev for the EMI/Verdi label. He has also recorded works by David Carlson with the Utah Symphony Orchestra on New World Records and his recording of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s opera THE MINES OF SULPHUR was released to great critical acclaim on the Chandos label in July 2005. He has recently completed another Bennett disc for Chandos while two further recordings of music by Stephen Hartke, with Glimmerglass, and Alan Hovhaness with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra have been released on the Naxos label.
In the realm of opera Mr. Robertson’s activities are equally wide ranging, and include New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, the companies of Detroit and Montreal, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf and the Norwegian National Opera. His special affinity for twentieth century British music and the music of Benjamin Britten in particular has led to the PBS broadcast of PAUL BUNYAN on Live From Lincoln Center, which received widespread acclaim. His involvement with the music of Mozart has led most recently to the establishment of a cycle of the complete Mozart operas for Florida Grand Opera. An active interest in contemporary music has resulted in many world premieres notably, ORPHEUS DESCENDING for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, MIDNIGHT ANGEL for Opera Theater of St. Louis and the CENTRAL PARK trilogy for Glimmerglass Opera. This received much critical attention and was televised on PBS’s Great Performances series.
Mr. Robertson conducted the world premiere of FEDERICO II by Marco Tutino at the Jesi Opera Festival in Italy, Stephen Hartke’s THE GREATER GOOD at Glimmerglass Opera and new operatic works by David Carlson, Anthony Davis and Paul Moravec. Recordings of these works are planned. Other engagements include his return to Opera Theatre of St. Louis, LA BOHEME at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Tuscany, and TURANDOT at Switzerland’s Avanche Festival.
Mr. Robertson gained his early experience in opera and ballet at the opera houses of Cologne and Zurich and at Scottish Opera, where he was Music Director of the touring company. Subsequently he became Music Director of the San Bernardino Symphony and the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra, where he was a champion of new music and a frequent broadcaster on National Public Radio.
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Mr. Robertson is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He studied piano with Denis Matthews, conducting with Otmar Suitner at the Mozarteum, Salzburg and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna.
He is married with two children and he and his wife Meryl are, as a diversion from professional activities, attempting, perhaps ill-advisedly, but nevertheless enthusiastically to restore a castle in Argyll, Scotland where he plans a small chamber music festival.”
Join us for Opera Omaha’s production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado on Friday, April 13 at 7:30pm or Sunday, April 15 at 2:00pm to witness the magnificent work of Maestro Stewart Robertson. Visit www.ticketomaha.com or call 402-346-4398 to reserve your seats today!