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Scottish Opera, on the Mend, Appoints New Music Director

By Matthew Westphal
08 Aug 2007

Francesco Corti
photo by Christopher Bowen

Scottish Opera, now finding a measure of stability after several tumultuous years, has appointed a new music director. Francesco Corti, a 43-year-old native of Milan, takes up his new position this month.

Corti is currently music director of the Magdeburg Opera in Germany; he was previously music director of the Pfalztheater in Kaiserslautern and first Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. In 2004 he made his US debut conducting Il barbiere di Siviglia for San Francisco Opera. Corti's first performances with Scottish Opera, in his U.K. debut, were just this spring in Madama Butterfly — for which he received resoundingly enthusiastic reviews.

"At our season launch in the spring," said Scottish Opera general director Alex Reedijk in a statement, "I was able to say that Scottish Opera is stable and solvent and has an exciting program of activity ... It has been important to take the time to find the right person for Scottish Opera and we were drawn by Francesco's innate musicality. It is a joy to have someone of his stature, experience, enthusiasm and wisdom joining the company."

While the 2007-08 season is already in place, Corti will conduct at least half of Scottish Opera's mainstage productions from 2008-09 onward. He will be only the fourth music director in the company's 45-year history.

Scottish Opera is continuing its recovery from a long period of financial trouble (and the usual labor-management strife that goes with it). The company's fiscal woes ultimately forced it to go dark for the 2005-06 season, disband its chorus, and eliminate a total of 88 staff positions in order to pay down a £4 million debt and keep within its annual budget.




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