Michael Black gets Lyric Opera chorus master job, this time for good

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Michael Black

In the world of opera, after all the drama, sometimes things really do work out for the best.

Michael Black, who became immediately popular with the Lyric Opera Chorus members and staff last season as the company’s interim chorus master, now has the job on a permanent basis, Lyric announced on Friday.

“Michael Black did superb work at Lyric last season,” said general director Anthony Freud in a statement released by the company. “Everyone at Lyric – above all, our chorus members – was deeply impressed by the quality of his musicianship, his command of style, and most important, his ability, on a daily basis, to draw from the Lyric Opera Chorus the absolute best that they have to give.”

“Michael Black is a fantastic chorus master, and we are fortunate that he will be returning to Lyric on a permanent basis to continue working with our world-class chorus,” added Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s music director and principal conductor.

Black, 47, prepared the chorus last season as interim chorus master, for The Tales of Hoffmann, Lucia di Lammermoor, Boris Godunov, The Magic Flute, Aida, and Show Boat.

Martin Wright resigned from the chorus master job last month “for health reasons,” said the company, after just three and one-half months on the job.

Black, chorus master of Opera Australia, will take up the post in August of 2013. The Lyric has engaged Ian Robertson, chorus director of San Francisco Opera, to handle chorus master duties for the balance of this season.

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