Bruno Bartoletti to be awarded honorary citizenship by the City of Florence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, May 11, 2009
Bruno Bartoletti, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Artistic Director Emeritus, to be awarded honorary citizenship by the City of Florence on May 15, 2009, at the Palazzo Vecchio
Maestro Bartoletti to return to Chicago later in May for informal coaching sessions with ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Maestro Bruno Bartoletti, artistic director emeritus of Lyric Opera of Chicago and internationallyacclaimed conductor, will be awarded honorary citizenship by his native city, Florence, Italy, on Friday, May 15.
The Honorary Citizenship award is the top honor conferred by the City of Florence to outstanding individuals who have distinguished themselves in the scientific, cultural, artistic, or humanitarian fields. These individuals are selected by the consensus of the Florentine City Council.
In declaring Maestro Bartoletti an honorary citizen of Florence, the City Council proclaimed, “Notwithstanding his numerous international commitments, Mo. Bartoletti kept a close relationship with Florence and in particular the Teatro Comunale….In his role as a great interpreter and promoter of contemporary music as the highest levels in both Europe and around the world, Mo. Bartoletti has brought luster to the City of Florence and to its musical and operatic tradition.”
Since 1991, Florence’s honorary citizenship has been conferred on Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Alexander Dubcek, Xavier Perez de Cuellar, Zubin Mehta, the Dalai Lama, Riccardo Muti, Roberto Benigni, Kofi Annan, Luciano Berio, Max Seidel, and Mstislav Rostopovich, among others.
“I can think of nothing more fitting than Maestro Bartoletti receiving this great honor,” said William Mason, Lyric’s general director. “I’ve known Bruno for more than 40 years, and I’ve always been deeply impressed by his pride in and love for his city. We have long considered him an honorary citizen of Chicago, and are pleased to share him with the wonderful city of Florence. Our warmest congratulations to Bruno.”
A few days after receiving his hometown’s highest honor, Maestro Bartoletti will return to his adopted hometown of Chicago to visit friends and conduct informal coaching sessions with the 2009-10 ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Maestro Bruno Bartoletti, 81, has been associated with Lyric Opera of Chicago since 1956, and conducted more than 600 performances at Lyric. He celebrated his 50th anniversary with Lyric during the 2006/07 season, conducting a new production of Il trovatore, the opera that marked his U. S. debut in Chicago. In 2007/08, he conducted the season-opening performances of La traviata in September and October – his valedictory engagement here. Bartoletti served as Lyric’s artistic director from 1964 until his retirement in 1999.
Bartoletti is celebrated internationally for his enormous operatic repertoire, including several world premieres and numerous recordings. He has conducted extensively throughout Europe and North America. Bartoletti resides in Florence, Italy, with his wife Rosanna. He was born nearby in Sesto Fiorentino in 1928, studied music at the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence, and debuted at the Teatro Comunale in Florence in 1953, where he subsequently led numerous historic productions of classical and contemporary operas. He served as music director and artistic director of Florence’s Maggio Musicale Festival 1985-91.