Thursday, June 2, 2016

Met taps Nézet-Séguin

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who has been music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, has been named the successor to James Levine as music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

The 41-year-old Canadian, who made his Met debut conducting Bizet’s “Carmen” in 2009, will not assume the new post immediately. He becomes the Met’s music director-designate in the 2017-18 season, leading
two operas per season;
and music director in 2020-21, conducting five productions each season. His initial contract runs through 2025.

His current contract with the Philadelphia Orchestra runs through the 2025-26 season.

Nézet-Séguin tells The New York Times that his gradual entry into Met leadership “doesn’t mean that I will be out of touch. . . . I hope it won’t feel like there’s a wait, or there’s a void.”

“In many ways, the charismatic Mr. Nézet-Séguin is an exciting choice for the Met. But challenging issues and big questions will face him when he arrives,” The Times’ chief opera critic, Anthony Tommasini, writes:

Reassuring Philadelphians of his commitment to their orchestra, Nézet-Séguin tells The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Peter Dobrin: “The conductors I have admired all my life divided their time between [symphonic and operatic] repertoires, and for me it’s a question of keeping those two poles but actually making them geographically closer. . . . So I made the choice to be a very much Northeast American.”