Yannick Nézet-Séguin Will Lead the Met Opera, Two Years Early

Yannick Nézet-Séguin Will Lead the Met Opera, Two Years Early


Asked how he viewed the case of Mr. Levine, and whether he felt the company needed healing, Mr. Nézet-Séguin was circumspect. “For me, I see my own curve with the institution, and I’m focused on this, solely,” he said, adding that the more he got to know the workings of the opera house and its company, the more eager he was to begin.

“I know what I want to do, and I just needed to have the time to start doing it,” he added.

Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, predicted in an interview that Mr. Nézet-Séguin’s arrival would cheer the entire company.

“The Met, obviously, has suffered from what happened with Jim,” he said. “And I would say the healing process began the day Yannick set foot in the building conducting rehearsals of ‘Parsifal,’ because the orchestra and the chorus clearly gravitate to him.”

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Jonas Kaufmann, who has not appeared at the Met since 2014, will sing four performances of Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West.”

Credit
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Some musicians said that they were ecstatic about the move. Jessica Phillips, a clarinetist and the chairwoman of the Met’s orchestra committee, said in an email, “As fellow musicians excited by Yannick’s vision for the future, it is our hope that the Met’s inspired investment in his brilliance underscores its commitment to the musical artists and artistry that are the lifeblood of the Met Opera.”

The company’s investigation of Mr. Levine, who was suspended after The New York Times reported the accusations of four men who said that he had sexually abused them when they were teenagers or his students, continues. Mr. Levine has denied the accusations.

Next season will feature a number of notable conducting debuts. Mr. Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct Verdi’s “Otello.” Robert Spano, of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will conduct “Marnie”; James Gaffigan, “La Bohème”; and Cornelius Meister, “Don Giovanni.”

A number of Met favorites will make star turns. Mr. Kaufmann, who has canceled his last three planned appearances at the Met, is set to return in a revival of Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West.” Mr. Gelb said that since Mr. Kaufmann had made it clear that he does not wish to leave his home in Germany for long stretches of time, Mr. Gelb had offered to “tailor-make” repertoire for him to sing when he is free.

In addition to the title role of “Adriana Lecouvreur,” Ms. Netrebko will sing Verdi’s Aida. Sonya Yoncheva will star in Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” and reprise her Desdemona in “Otello,” with Stuart Skelton in the title role. Christine Goerke will bring her acclaimed Brünnhilde to the Met for the first time in the “Ring,” Plácido Domingo will sing in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” and “La Traviata.”

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Gustavo Dudamel, the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will make his Met debut conducting Verdi’s “Otello.”

Credit
Emily Berl for The New York Times

Javier Camarena will star in Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles”; Juan Diego Flórez will sing Alfredo in “La Traviata”; and Michael Fabiano will star in “La Bohème” and Boito’s “Mefistofele.” The mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton will sing Fricka in the “Ring.”

Anita Rachvelishvili, who scored a major success this season as Azucena in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” will sing Amneris to Ms. Netrebko’s Aida and the Princess de Bouillon to her Adriana Lecouvreur, as well as Dalila in some performances. The baritone Quinn Kelsey will get two plum Verdi assignments: Giorgio Germont in “La Traviata” and Aida’s father, Amonasro.

Mr. Nézet-Séguin said that he had been happy to rearrange his schedule and cancel a number of appearances in Europe to make the directorship and added performances possible. But he will be busy, he acknowledged in New York on Tuesday at the end of the interview — which he joined after traveling from Philadelphia, where he had announced in the morning that he would be leading the Philadelphia Orchestra on a tour of Israel.

When the interview was over, he got up, saying that he needed some time to rest before his next engagement: the nearly six-hour “Parsifal.”

“There’s a tiny show that’s coming up tonight,” he said with a smile.



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