OPERA AND ART: Richard Barger, who ran the operations at Opera Theatre of St. Louis for nearly 20 years before leaving for New York and Santa Fe last July, has opened a dynamic new contemporary art gallery in his adopted hometown in New Mexico.
Barger and his partner, David Eichholtz, formerly of Monsanto, opened David Richard Contemporary last week in Santa Fe. The gallery offers a wide range of contemporary art in a variety of media and the owners say they also plan to exhibit “representational and non-representational art” and programs showing artistic trends and significant works from the 1960s through the ’80s.
Barger came to Opera Theatre from the Santa Fe Opera and began here as an intern in 1990. Over the years he was involved with almost every aspect of OTSL, including the construction of the Sally S. Levy Opera Center.
Barger’s travels between opera worlds in St. Louis and Snata Fe mirror those of Richard Gaddes and Charles MacKay. Gaddes came to the United States from his native England to be artistic administrator of the Santa Fe Opera. He then helped found Opera Theatre St. Louis and after spending nearly 20 years here, went back to be the general director of the opera in Santa Fe.
Gaddes invited MacKay, a native of Santa Fe, to be executive director of OTSL in 1984. MacKay left St. Louis in 2008 to succeed Gaddes as general director of the Santa Fe Opera.