Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Principal Guest at the MET

Although this is not surprising - it is a bold move by the MET to bridge the void left by Maestro James Levine's absence. Although, according to Peter Gelb, this has nothing to do with Maestro Levine.

Daniel Wakin of the New York Times writes in part:
The Metropolitan Opera, hobbled by the ailments to its maestro, James Levine, has moved to bolster its musical direction by appointing a principal guest conductor — only the second in its recent history.

The new man is Fabio Luisi
[R.], an Italian who has worked most of his career in German-speaking lands and has been an increasing presence at the Met since making his debut in 2005 in Don Carlo. Mr. Luisi stepped in this month to replace Mr. Levine in performances of Puccini’s Tosca and took over for him in leading Berg’s Lulu, which opens May 8. The Met announced the appointment on Tuesday.

In an interview, Mr. Luisi said his contract runs for three years, starting next season, and that he will be spending two to three months a season in New York. He was already scheduled to lead performances of
Ariadne auf Naxos and Rigoletto next season, and said he has future plans for an unspecified new Verdi production, an Aida revival, a Manon by Massenet and a Fidelio.

Mr. Levine has had a series of health problems in that past several years that have caused him to cancel numerous performances at the Met and at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he is also music director. The most recent was back surgery earlier this month.

His health woes have raised the delicate question of his successor, an issue that causes great squeamishness for all involved. Mr. Levine is a well-liked figure at the Met, where he has spent four decades.
For more, please make sure to hop yourselves right on over to NY Times' ArtsBeat.

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