San Francisco Opera’s Chorus Director to Retire After 35 Years

By David Salazar
(Credit: Kristen Loken)

The San Francisco Opera has announced that Ian Robertson, the company’s Chorus Director for more than 35 years, will be retiring at the end of 2021.

Robertson joined the company as Chorus Director back in 1987, leading the ensemble through 342 productions. The ensemble was the subject of the 1991 Oscar-winning documentary “In the Shadow of Stars.” He is also a recipient of the Messiaen prize for his work on the 2002 American premiere of “Saint François d’assisi.” In 2012, he was awarded the Opera Medal, San Francisco Opera’s highest honor. He also inaugurated a series of concerts featuring the chorus in 2016.

To honor his achievements, San Francisco Opera will present two all-chorus concerts led by Robertson. The two concerts are set for December 11 and 12, 2021.

“As I reach retirement, I would like to thank San Francisco Opera for the honor and privilege of working with the superbly talented members of the San Francisco Opera Chorus and with the entire Company in all its artistic and technical disciplines. It has been a lifetime journey for me which has been rewarding in so many ways. I have seen exciting changes and developments over the years, and have witnessed so many inspirational moments during rehearsals and performances at this great company,” Robertson said in a press release. “I’ve been so fortunate to have collaborated with its four music directors and many fine stage directors and artists. I wish the Opera continued success in its mission to present the very best of international opera.”