Luisi takes greater leadership role at Met Opera

Posted on: September 27, 2011

In Tuesday’s (9/27) Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson writes, “On Sept. 15, Fabio Luisi, 52, newly appointed principal conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, had his first meeting with the orchestra to read through a new work by John Harbison for their Oct. 16 Carnegie Hall concert. Wearing a polo shirt and jeans, Mr. Luisi, slim and bespectacled, politely prefaced corrections with ‘I suggest’ and ‘May I ask a favor, please?’ But he made sure to get the changes that he wanted, even if they required several repetitions. … James Levine, the Met’s music director, was originally scheduled to conduct, but his new back injury, sustained two weeks earlier, had the Met scrambling to replace him for the concert and, even more critically, for the new productions of ‘Don Giovanni’ (opening Oct. 13) and ‘Siegfried’ (Oct. 27). [Met General Manager Peter] Gelb characterizes the appointment as long term, with the new title symbolic of Mr. Luisi’s more constant role in the house. … [Luisi] stresses the importance of being ‘a partner of the singers.’ ‘They have really a very hard job—standing there, singing everything by heart, in front of 3,000 people.’ … Leadership is not dictating, ‘but making them comfortable with my ideas.’ ”

Posted September 27, 2011