Austin Lyric Opera (ALO) is pleased to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Richard Buckley’s leadership. As Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Buckley has steadily increased the quality of each ALO production, even as the company faced serious financial challenges.
“We’ve been through a lot,” says Buckley, “but Austin Lyric Opera is in a really good place now. And I’m especially proud of the art we make on stage.”
Buckley’s reputation makes him one of the busiest conductors in North American. As a principal conductor and guest conductor, his career spans 40 years, leading 40 different orchestras in 28 different cities and 12 different countries. In the past 10 years alone he’s led 27 operas for ALO, including Marriage of Figaro, Turandot, Waiting for the Barbarians and La bohème to name a few, all the while commanding the 50-plus member ALO Orchestra.
In his past 10 years leading Austin Lyric Opera, Buckley has won over fans and critics for his “sublime command”* of the ALO Orchestra, chorus and leads. In his first season, Buckley selected some of the greatest opera works of all time: Tosca by Puccini, Elektra by Strauss and The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. The highlight of that season was Buckley’s luring opera great Carol Vaness in the title role of Tosca, one of the finest vocal talents to ever grace an Austin stage.
This season, Maestro Buckley has selected three classic operas from premiere Italian composers: Don Carlo by Verdi and The Elixir of Love by Donizetti, and bringing back Puccini’s Tosca once again. This time, Buckley has lured opera great James Valenti to take on the title role of Don Carlo, a regular star of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and a treat for Austin opera goers.
The son of the late Emerson Buckley, Richard Buckley has conducting in his blood. Maestro Buckley, senior, was the artistic director of the Greater Miami Opera and the tenor Luciano Pavarotti’s conductor, touring with Pavarotti while also guest conducting across the United States, Europe and China.
Maestro Buckley received a bachelor’s degree in music, summa cum laude, from the University of North Carolina School for the Arts in Winton-Salem, and a master’s degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Buckley’s international conducting career includes the following orchestras:
Symphonic, North America
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
New York Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic
St. Louis Symphony
Royal Philharmonic (London)
BBC Symphony (London)
BBC Philharmonic (London)
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (Edinburgh)
BerlinRadio Symphony Orchestra (Berlin, Germany)
Rotterdam Philharmonic (Netherlands)
Hong Kong Philharmonic (China)
L’orchestre National de Lyon (France)
Prague Symphony (Czech Republic)
Operatic, North America
Austin Lyric Opera
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Los Angeles Opera
New York City Opera
San Francisco Opera
St. Louis Opera
Santa Fe Opera
Washington National Opera
Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London)
Deutsche Oper Berlin (Berlin)
L’Opera National de Paris (Paris),
TeatroColon (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam)
Hamburg Staatsoper (Hamberg, Germany)
Royal Danish Oper (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Royal Opera of Sweden (Stockholm, Sweden)
Norwegian Opera (Oslo, Norway)
The Göteborg Opera (Göteborg, Sweden)
Canadian Opera Company (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Opéra de Montréal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
* Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle, Feb. 6, 2009