Monday, December 27, 2010

Dr. Gary Burgess, Prof. Emeritus, Dir. of Bermuda Philharmonic, wrote 'Dawn of a New Day' & 'The Bermuda Symphony'

[Dr. Gary Burgess]

School for the Performing Arts
Dr. Gary Burgess – Artistic Director
Dr. Gary Burgess has been a professional musician for the past 40 years. He has performed as an opera singer on several continents, and in most of the major opera houses in the world. Dr. Burgess was a Professor of Voice and Opera at the State University of New York at Buffalo for 23 years. As the Director of the Opera Department he conducted and staged more than sixty productions. Dr. Burgess is a Professor Emeritus of the State University of New York in Buffalo. Since returning to Bermuda in 1998 he has held the position of Musical Director of the Bermuda Philharmonic Society and Program Coordinator with the Department of Cultural Affairs. In January 2003 Dr. Burgess received the National Opera Association Legacy Award for his contribution to music and opera.

“Gary Burgess made his American debut as a tenor in 1973 with the San Francisco Opera Company singing seven roles in the same season, in productions including Die Zaubeflöte, L’Incornazione di Poppea, La Boheme, Electra, Pique Dame and Boris Godunov. Debuts followed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Philadelphia Opera, Houston Opera, and many other companies in the United States. In 1973 he also made his European debut with the Greek National Opera, singing the leading tenor roles in The Rake’s Progress, the Rape of Lucretia and Ariadne auf Naxos.

“On first retiring in 1998, he returned to Bermuda to take a post with the Ministry of Culture as Programme Director and Musical Director of the Bermuda Philharmonic Society and during this time Dr. Burgess wrote and premiered two symphonies for the Bermuda Philharmonic Orchestra - Dawn of a New Day, and The Bermuda Symphony, based on the discovery of Bermuda. He also founded and directed the Boys Choir at the Bermuda Cathedral for six years until he retired for the second time. Always one to encourage singers both old and young, Gary provided voice lessons to many of Bermuda’s up and coming singers.

“Never one to retire 'permanently', in 2008 Gary was enlisted by the Chinese Government to be one of the directors to open the new Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, directing Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. He returned again in the fall of the same year to be part of an esteemed panel of international judges for the Ningbo International Vocal Competition.

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