News of Art Shake-ups at lo­cal per­form­ing arts or­ga­ni­za­tions

Pasatiempo - - PASATIEMPO -

Change is waft­ing through the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices of per­form­ing arts or­ga­ni­za­tions around Santa Fe. In early 2014, Santa Fe Pro Mu­sica and Mu­sic From An­gel Fire be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of merg­ing and plot­ted a process that would en­able them to set up in­creas­ingly par­al­lel op­er­a­tions over a three-year pe­riod. The groups’ op­er­a­tions are com­ple­men­tary; Pro Mu­sica pro­duces a fall-through-spring con­cert series in Santa Fe, while An­gel Fire is a sum­mer fes­ti­val a cou­ple of hours away. It seemed that both could achieve more to­gether with their com­bined re­sources than they could sep­a­rately. As of this week, plans for the merger have ended. This cre­ates some awk­ward­ness; at this point the two or­ga­ni­za­tions have not only oc­cu­pied the same of­fice space but also shared an ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, El­iz­a­beth Har­combe. She turned in her res­ig­na­tion at An­gel Fire last Fri­day and sig­naled that she will con­tinue at Pro Mu­sica. Thomas O’Con­nor, Pro Mu­sica’s mu­sic di­rec­tor and co­founder, at­trib­uted the rup­ture in part to a change of lead­er­ship on An­gel Fire’s board of di­rec­tors and, as a con­se­quence, “dif­fer­ent goals for the or­ga­ni­za­tion.” “It was an ex­cit­ing project,” Har­combe said, “but one that ul­ti­mately pre­sented dif­fer­ences in or­ga­ni­za­tional goals and as­pi­ra­tions.”

Reins are be­ing passed at Per­for­mance Santa Fe, where artis­tic di­rec­tor Joseph Il­lick and ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor Gina Brown­ing, who are mar­ried to each other, have an­nounced that they will end their in­volve­ment with the or­ga­ni­za­tion at the end of the cur­rent sea­son. Since 2007, Il­lick has tended to artis­tic plan­ning and of­ten to gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion; Brown­ing has over­seen an ar­ray of ed­u­ca­tional in­cen­tives, in­clud­ing the EPIK Artist Pro­gram for tal­ented teens. Jonathan Win­kle, who be­came ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor last spring, will as­sume re­spon­si­bil­ity for pro­gram­ming in ad­di­tion to his ad­min­is­tra­tive du­ties. And at the Len­sic Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter, Joel Aal­berts is set­tling in as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, hav­ing ar­rived in Septem­ber from his pre­vi­ous post head­ing the East­ern Ken­tucky Univer­sity Cen­ter for the Arts.

The strangest arts story of the past week oc­curred at the Metropoli­tan Opera in New York, where a mati­nee was cur­tailed and an even­ing per­for­mance can­celled when an au­di­ence mem­ber was seen cast­ing white pow­der into the orchestra pit dur­ing an in­ter­mis­sion. It turned out he was spread­ing the ashes of a friend, which he had pledged to de­posit at var­i­ous opera houses. He had al­ready left some at an uniden­ti­fied opera house in Colorado. Won­der­ing if Santa Fe Opera might also have been on his sum­mer cir­cuit, we asked the com­pany to check its box-of­fice records. “Un­for­tu­nately, I can­not pro­vide that in­for­ma­tion due to our pri­vacy pol­icy,” said Daniel Zill­mann, di­rec­tor of press and pub­lic re­la­tions. Any­way, in case you were think­ing of do­ing this, don’t. — James M. Keller

Thomas O’Con­nor, mu­sic di­rec­tor and con­duc­tor of Santa Fe Pro Mu­sica, and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor El­iz­a­beth Har­combe

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