|Biography: Laurence Gilgore|
General Director and Principal Conductor
Laurence Gilgore is the General Director and Principal Conductor of the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra, where he has attracted national and international attention for presenting distinctive programming, innovative productions and world-renowned performers including, sopranos René Fleming, Aprile Millo, Eva Urbanova and Marilyn Horne, pianists Peter Serkin and Misha Dichter, harpsichordist Rosalyn Tureck and violinist Joseph Silverstein, among others.
Since his debut with the company, with a highly acclaimed production of Don Pasquale directed by Christopher Renshaw, Gilgore has led performances of varied repertoire including the American premiere of Busoni’s Turandot, directed by Arvin Brown, for which The New York Times praised Gilgore as having just the right balance between the impulsive and the contemplative and the New Yorker as being alert and accomplished. Other well-reviewed productions include: Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, Mefistofele, Orfeo ed Euridice, The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, L’Elisir d’Amore, Macbeth, La Bohème, a rare double bill of Djamileh and La Navarraise and Offenbach’s Barbe-Bleue, directed by Christopher Alden, Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi with Sherrill Milnes, performances of The Consul, directed by Giancarlo Menotti at the Edinburgh Festival, Tosca, featuring the American debut of Metropolitan Opera soprano Eva Urbanov and Norma which Opera News called a pleasing performance starting with a propulsive overture. Along with his CGO&O season, guest appearances guest appearances in the 2006-2007 seasons have included: Lucia di Lammermoor with Teatro de la Opera, San Juan, Puerto Rico, performances at the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago, (Italy), that both opened and closed the prestigious Festival, an orchestral performance with world-renowned flutist Andrea Griminelli (who has played with the late Pavarotti and Sting, among others) in New York City, and a highly acclaimed production of Rigoletto in San Severo and Foggia, (Italy). Gilgore’s 2008-2009 engagements include a series of performances of La Bohème at the Opera Festival in Florence, (Italy) and performances of Lucia di Lammermoor in Foggia and San Severo, (Italy). Gilgore is one of the very few conductors regularly conducting the core Italian repertoire in Italy.
He has made impressive debuts with the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, conducting a major revival in a new production of Paisiello’s rarely performed Don Chisciotte, La Traviata for Tulsa Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Cleveland Opera and many appearances with Long Beach Opera including Offenbach’s Barbe-Bleue.
In 2003, Gilgore made his Opera Company of North Carolina debut with Samson et Dalila and was immediately engaged to close their 2004 Season with Turandot. 2006, marked his most recent OCNC appearance with Strauss’ Salome. He has been a regular guest conductor at the Teatro de la Opera in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he conducted Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, Faust starring Justino Diaz and Bellini’s Norma.
Gilgore has led orchestras and opera companies nationally and internationally including: the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Long Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera, Cleveland Opera, Opera Company of North Carolina, Santa Fe Symphony, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, Palermo’s Teatro Massimo, Taipei’s National Symphony and the Beijing Philharmonic. As a frequent guest of the Prague Autumn Festival, he has led many of the most important Czech orchestras in repertoire including a Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky recorded performance of the Prague Symphony and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Violinist Tasmin Little and a national telecast performance with Sherrill Milnes and Eva Urbanov. Gilgore was a Music Honors graduate of Clark University and was awarded the Artistic Diploma from the Bologna Conservatory in 1982. Subsequently, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan for the 84-85 season. A native of Philadelphia, Gilgore currently lives in Connecticut with his wife Susy and daughter Chloe.