Any word on who won the principal bass position today with the Santa Fe Opera?
I'm told Alex Bickard won this one. I think he was acting in the position previously.
I know from inside sources that way more than 6 were invited but only 6 showed up. Alex was chosen overwhelmingly by a committee in an entirely screened and anonymous process. I heard his audition was unlike any of the others that day. Sometimes great players just play really great auditions.
The Santa Fe Opera does not have a tuba position in the CBA, so it's always a sub or recurring invite of the same sub. They can't audition for a position that doesn't exist. It's left over from the old days but also because they rarely use a tuba on more than 2 or 3 operas a summer (out of 5 operas).
I can sympathize with the sentiment that we shouldn't diminish the merits or accomplishments of great players just because the audition they won may have had some irregularities. Nonetheless, it seems obvious at this point that Santa Fe Opera is refusing to invite highly qualified players just so that their preferred candidate can compete in a smaller field. A winner of an unfair audition can still be a good person and a good player, that shouldn't shield the committee from our judgment. Frankly, public shaming is the one of the best tools we've got for getting orchestras and committees with shady practices to change their ways.
Alex is a fantastic player. Congratulations to him!!