Obituary: Bruno Bartoletti, longtime Chicago Lyric chief, 86

Posted on: June 12, 2013

“Bruno Bartoletti, an Italian conductor who helped transform the Lyric Opera of Chicago into one of the most respected and daring opera companies of its kind, died June 9 in Florence. He was 86,” writes Emily Langer in Monday’s (6/10) Washington Post. “Mr. Bartoletti was 30 when he flew to the United States to make a hastily planned U.S. debut in Chicago in 1956. The fledgling Lyric Opera sorely needed a conductor to replace the ailing maestro Tullio Serafin.… Mr. Bartoletti was named the company’s co-artistic director, with Pino Donati, in 1964 and became the sole artistic director in 1975,” remaining with the company after his official retirement in 1999. “Mr. Bartoletti was known as an insightful interpreter of the Italian canon, including works by Verdi and Puccini. But he also expanded the Lyric Opera’s repertoire…. The Lyric Opera credited Mr. Bartoletti with bringing to the company modern operas including Berg’s Wozzeck, Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel and The Gambler, Britten’s Billy Budd, Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Janacek’s The Makropulos Case. Bartoletti also conducted at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and at the Maggio Musicale festival in Florence.”

Posted June 12, 2013