Gustavo Dudmell, Superstar Conductor, Is to Lead Paris Opera

In a coup for the venerable Paris Opera, founded in 1669 by Louis XIV, the company announced on Friday that superstar conductor Gustavo Dudmell would be its next music director.

A rare classical artist who has surpassed the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s music leader and pop-culture celebrity since 2009, Dudamel has led only one production in Paris: “La Bohme” in 2017. And when he dipped his toe in the operative repertory in Los Angeles, At the Metropolitan Opera And elsewhere, he is largely known as a symphonic conductor.

At a press conference in Paris on Friday, Dudmell said he aimed to “build on the success of the past, which honors the extraordinary history of the Paris Opera, but at the same time looking to the future: new musicians, new choreographers Working with “

A spokesperson for the company said that Dudamel would take over from August 1.

His appointment will be of little surprise to those who have consistently watched Dudmell over the past 15 years. The new position marks a milestone in the intoxicating career of an artist who made a name for himself as a wonderhand with orchestras in North and South America and now taking the reins at the age of 40 in one of Europe Oldest Opera Companies. His term will begin in August, for an initial term of six years, with his position in Los Angeles overlapping for that period, His current contract Runs from seasons 2025–26.

Dudamel – who was born in Venezuela in 1981 and trained there by El-Sistema, a free government-funded program that teaches music to children, including some of its poorest regions – holds a unique place in music is. He is sought by major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic. But he also appeared in a Super Bowl To halt The classical icon in the animated film was Trolljart “Troll World Tour”; Steven is the conductor of the score for the upcoming film version of Spielberg “Story of the West”; And Inspired a dirty-haired main character In the Amazon series “Mozart in the Jungle.” In 2019, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

His rundown will surely be a bullet in the arm for the Parisian opera, which, like other arts organizations, is eyeing the need to reintroduce to its main audience after the epidemic’s prolonged closure, as well Also aims to catch new ones. Operator. Handsomely subsidized by the Government of France, the company, whose director, Alexander Knieff. Started last fall – is Expanded its audience In recent years, but still face the pressure of debate about racial representation and the relevance of expensive-to-yield classical art forms.

It is no longer the norm – especially outside German-speaking countries – for opera music directors to start as pianists and singer coaches and to carry on their work through the company ranks, such as Philip jordan, 46, did Dudmell’s predecessor in Paris. While Dudamel lacks that preparation, he is not unknown in major opera houses. He made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2006 when he was in his mid-20s, and the following year at the Berlin State Opera. He first appeared at the Vienna State Opera in 2016 and with Verdi’s “Otello” on the Met in 2018; It ended on wednesday A run of “Otello” In barcelona.

In Los Angeles, he has contributed to the Philharmonic’s strong academic outreach, specifically the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, a program inspired by El Sistema that was founded in 2007. He has also continued the post of music director of the Simo Boviver Symphony Orchestra. Venezuela, but after that Criticized the government there In 2017, the country Canceled your planned international tour With that ensemble. Since he has not been able to perform with Simon Bolivar since then, he still works remotely with the ensemble and occasionally meets with groups of his players outside of Venezuela.

Dudmail’s appointment comes two months later A report released Focused on discrimination and diversity at the Paris Opera, in-house ballet company’s repertory, school admissions process and changes in racial and ethnic makeup.

Around the world, opera companies have also been called upon to make their staff, artistic lineup and repertory more representative. Chorus-Lian Wu, along with Paris Opera’s newly appointed (and first lady) chorus master, is part of Dudmell’s effort to change the face of the executive rank of the hiring company and how it thinks about diversity and equity.

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