The new, merged company, Opera Cleveland, was formed in April by the union of Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland, which Field ran for six years. He will leave at the end of August, two years before his contract expires.
The new company is considering potential candidates to become its inaugural artistic director. Field told the Plain Dealer, "I don't see a role for myself in the company long-term. This was initiated by myself. They did ask me to reconsider."
Peter Rubin, president of Opera Cleveland, praised Field's productions with the Lyric and his "unusual sensitivity to each piece" and told the Plain Dealer his resignation was unexpected, saying, "I'm disappointed that he is leaving. I attempted to convince him not to, but I understand that he's got strong personal and artistic reasons why he wants to move on."
Don Scipione, an Opera Cleveland board member and former Lyric Opera president, told the paper that he suggested to Field that he should think seriously about getting involved in a bigger and more complex company.
According to the Plain Dealer, Field may have wanted to be artistic director of Opera Cleveland, but sensed that the board was leaning toward hiring someone not tied to either of the old companies. He will not stage any productions next summer, though he may agree to direct future projects.
The company's 2007 inaugural season features Salome, La traviata, A Little Night Music, The Turn of the Screw and Tosca. The spring-to-fall season opens next April 20 with Salome, with soprano Lise Lindstrom in the title role, baritone Stephen Powell as John the Baptist and Paul Nadler conducting. Tosca will close out the season the following October, conducted by Richard Buckley with soprano Brenda Harris in the title role, Gordon Hawkins as Scarpia and Alfredo Portilla as Cavaradossi.