Yesterday morning San Francisco Opera (SFO) Music Director Nicola Luisotti announced that SFO Resident Conductor Giuseppe Finzi has stepped down in order to accept a growing demand of international conducting assignments that conflict with his current SFO duties. Finzi made his debut at the War Memorial Opera House in 2009 and has conducted numerous performances for SFO since then. These have included not only SFO season and family performances at the War Memorial Opera House but also the Stern Grove free concert and the Schwabacher Summer Concert Orchestra for the Merola Opera Program. He will return to SFO this fall to conduct all five performances of The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini, whose performances will take place between November 25 and December 9.
The Resident Conductor for the new SFO season will be Spanish maestro Jordi Bernàcer. His appointment to this position will last through December of 2017. His initial assignments will involve serving as special musical assistant to Maestro Luisotti for the productions of Luisa Miller and Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi and Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. He will also be required for a wide range of musical and rehearsal activities.
Bernàcer has worked with Maestro Luisotti on two productions in Valencia, Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele and Verdi’s Nabucco. Most recently he conducted Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. He has also conducted Tosca in the United States for the Los Angeles Opera, and his American appearances include the Castleton Festival in Virginia.
Luisotti issued the following statement regarding Finzi’s departure: “What a great pleasure it has been to work with Giuseppe. Now he is called by many theaters all over the world and I am particularly proud about that, like a father who sees his own son realize his personal dream. We will never forget you, and we look forward to your return with Il Barbiere di Siviglia.”
For his part Finzi commented: “Over the last seven years at San Francisco Opera, I have grown both as a musician and as a man, and all the memories of such a thrilling experience will always remain indelible in my heart. For all of this, I would like to thank all of my traveling companions, from the outstanding San Francisco Opera Orchestra and music staff to the amazing San Francisco Opera Chorus, from the always careful administration to the expert crew—without exception. Grazie!”