Fond farewell for well-liked Luisotti

Nicola Luisotti has called time on an almost 10-year tenure as music director for San Francisco Opera (SFO). His contract expires at the end of 2017-18 and he has decided not to renew it.

‘I arrived at the difficult decision not to renew my contract and to look to new opportunities,’ said Luisotti to a packed press conference at SFO’s War Memorial Opera House. ‘I believe that close to a decade is about the right time to be leading a company. I want the Company’s general director Matthew Shilvock to be able to move freely into the future with his ideas, his artistic interests and to take SFO into a new direction.’

Luisotti is a popular figure at SFO, with manager David Gockley the first to express his gratitude to the music director: ‘I’ve enjoyed professionally and personally collaborating with him and am very proud of his contributions…I can think of no other person who embodies the love and passion of opera as much as Nicola Luisotti.’

Notable successes during Luisotti’s time at SFO include the world premiere of Marco Tutino’s La Ciociara (Two Women), as well as memorable productions of Mefistofele, Lohengrin, Salome, Norma, and a historic joint performance of Verdi’s Requiem with Teatro San Carlo of Naples (where Luisotti was music director from 2012-14).

The outgoing Italian added: ‘I wish to thank all members of the company, orchestra, chorus and music staff who proved over these past seasons that they possess a great talent of realising spectacular performances.’

At the moment it is unclear whether Luisotti will take on any permanent positions or whether he will focus entirely on his work as a guest conductor.