The Week that Was for Opera: Santa Fe ó Dallas ó Denver/St Louis ó Toronto

The sudden and sad death of Richard Bradshaw, 63, the English-born head of
Canadian Opera, Toronto, who served that company for thirty years and died at
Pearson Airport last evening (August 15) while returning from holiday in the
Maritimes, is the capstone to an unusual series of events over recent

On August 8 announcements came from Santa Fe that Richard Gaddes, long
associated with that opera company, and its head since 2001 would leave at
the end of the 2008 season, a surprise to many. At the same time Dallas Opera
was announcing the departure next month of Karen Stone, their general
director for the past four years.

Today, August 16, Opera Colorado at Denver announced the departure of its
two top executives, Peter Russell, General Director, who is leaving in
two weeks, and James Robinson, Artistic Director, who departs in 2008. It is
expected that Robinson will assume the position of artistic head at Opera
Theatre of St Louis, vacant since the death of Colin Graham last May. Four top executives and one top artistic administrator in the relatively small
world of opera, all named for change within one week. The mind reels!
Bradshawís position at Toronto was especially imposing, as for 30-years he
had labored to build Canadian Opera and had succeeded, not only in developing
the Companyís scope and quality, but he last year completed the building of
a new opera center, and conducted therein Torontoís first Wagnerian Ring
Cycle. Bradshawís historic accomplishments will long be remembered in

Santa Fe Opera developed under the direction of its founding manager, John
O. Crosby, who was succeeded by Gaddes in 2001. Gaddes previously held other
positions at Santa Fe and for ten years was General Director of the opera
company in St Louis of which he was a founder. Russell and Stone had briefer
tenures with their companies and made lesser records. The new Ellie Caulkins
opera house in downtown Denver opened during Russellís years and was
favorably received. In an unusual move, Mrs. Susan Morris, President of the
Board of Santa Fe Opera announced in a press release that she would be
pleased to receive confidential letters addressed to her at SFOís New York
office, with any comments or suggestions concerning new management at her
opera company.

J. A. Van Sant © 2007

image_description=Richard Bradshaw
product_title=Above: Richard Bradshaw, general director of the Canadian Opera Company