Maximum kudos to that gentleman of the podium, that vastly underrated and most elegant conductor, a champion of new works who also has a deepest knowledge of the great classic repertory, il maestro Bruno Bartoletti.
The 81-year-old maestro's association with the Chicago Lyric comes to an end after some 600 performances (his 51-year tenure included 10 years as co-artistic director and 24 as the company's sole artistic director).
Chicago -- and the world outside Italy -- lose him because he'll retire to Florence, only conducting in Italy from now on.
"We need respect for the music, we need respect for the theater that engaged you, and we need respect for your colleagues," he said. "We have a common dream; to create a great performance."
Opera Chic stands up in a one-girl mad standing ovation to a wonderful, wonderful career.