James Conlon Renews Contract with LA Opera

sixty-two year old conductor had just renewed his contract with the company for
five more years, so he will remain in his position at least until the end of
the 2017-2018 season. Besides Conlon, the opera’s leadership team
includes General Director Placido Domingo and Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Koelsch. Conlon, who has by now led more main stage performances
than any other conductor in the company’s twenty-six year history,
succeeded Kent Nagano at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. He finishes out
the current season conducting performances of Wagner’s Der Fliegende
(The Flying Dutchman) and Rossini’s La
(Cinderella). Next season he will conduct Verdi’s
Falstaff, Mozart’s Die Zauberflˆte (The Magic Flute),
Britten’s Billy Budd, and Donizetti’s Lucia di
. All together, Los Angeles Opera will present seven productions
during the 2013-1014 season.

Maestro Conlon reminisced about his early days in New York, telling us how
important local opera was to him as an eleven-year-old boy. It is amazing to
realize that ten years after he saw his first opera at a small company, he was
working in Spoleto, Italy, as a coach and chorus conductor. Conlon has become
immensely popular for his energetic talks and lectures. In addition to his
pre-performance lectures at LA Opera, he has become a UCLA Regents Lecturer and
will be speaking there on Verdi and Wagner. Having spent much of his career in
Europe, the conductor has held important top positions in Cologne and Paris.
Currently in addition to his position with Los Angeles Opera, he is music
director of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival and the Cincinnati May

At the press conference, Conlon was asked about the Recovered Voices
that presents music of composers whose careers were damaged by the
Holocaust. In the past, the company has presented some of this music, including
Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (The Dwarf), Ullmann’s Der
Zerbrochene Krug
(The Broken Jug), and Braunfels’ Die Vˆgel
(The Birds). However, because of the financial downturn the series has been
missing for the last few seasons. Conlon said “As soon as money comes
back, it will come back. It’s only the money.” Meanwhile, the operas
mentioned above are available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Maria Nockin

image_description=James Conlon [Photo by Chester Higgins]
product_title=James Conlon Renews Contract with LA Opera
product_by=By Maria Nockin
product_id=Above: James Conlon [Photo by Chester Higgins]