In 2018, board members of The Solti Foundation U.S. voted to name the Foundation’s new opera residency program in honor of Bettie Buccheri, initiator of the program. Having known and worked with Georg Solti over many years, Bettie was well aware of Solti’s interest in mentoring the next generation of conductors. She also knew that Solti believed that conducting opera was important in the development of his particular conducting style.
In Europe, young conductors have opportunities to gain experience in conducting opera. This has not been the case in the United States. Bettie set out to change that. Working with several opera companies, she developed a cooperative program in which an opera company may invite a young conductor to experience and to participate in the preparation of a scheduled opera for performance in the company’s regular season.
The initial residencies were done at Lyric Opera of Chicago under the mentorship of Sir Andrew Davis, and at Florentine Opera under the mentorship of Joseph Rescigno. Further residencies have taken place at Opera Theatre St. Louis with Mo. Stephen Lord, and at North Carolina Opera with Joseph Rescigno.
In the words of Artistic and Awards Committee member, Duain Wolfe . . .
“As the initiator of the first program of its kind here in the United States, Bettie has enabled the Foundation to make an important contribution, not only to American conductors, but to both the opera and orchestral fields.”
The Solti Foundation U.S. is grateful to the following opera companies for their help in establishing this program:
Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee)
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Opera Theatre St. Louis
Michigan Opera Theatre
North Carolina Opera