Cher Public

Be my guest!

James Levine turns 72 this year. Even though his health has improved considerably in the past year and he may continue to conduct for a decade or more, it seems inevitable that he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate.  This is why the role of Principal Conductor is so critical to the company; the person in that role serves as the unofficial successor to Maestro Levine.

First we had Joe Volpe’s choice Valery Gergiev and now we have Fabio Luisi. Maestro Luisi, after several years of jumping in for Maestro Levine, has seemingly grown tired of serving as Maestro-in-Waiting. Recently, he has taken on the roles of both General Music Director of the Zurich Opera and Principal Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. Those new gigs will certainly eat into the time he has available for the Met and his ability to take on the Music Directorship at the Met were it to be offered.

So this year’s season announcement may contain some clues as to front-runners, or even a new name for for Principal Conductor spot. Ideally, the Met would want a conductor with a reasonably starry reputation, interest in a broad operatic repertoire, positive critical reception in their previous engagements at the Met, demonstrated rapport with the Met orchestra and a schedule that would allow for time to conduct multiple operas at the Met each season.

I have no insider information; but instead offer a list of a few potential front-runners based on their existing relationships with the company. The names below are listed in age-descending order. For point of reference, Levine was 29 when he became Principal Conductor at the Met and 33 when became the Met’s Music Director.

Sir Simon Rattle (age 60) has only conducted one opera at the Met, to considerable acclaim and has a plum opening night assignment conducting Tristan und Isolde in the 2016-17 season. He is conveniently stepping down from his role as principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in a couple of years However, he has not shown much interest to date in conducting much of the core operatic repertory and one assumes that if he was interested in conducting more opera, he would have found a way to do so by now. He seems more likely to take on the occasional high-profile guest conductor engagement at the Met, rather than commit to performances every season.

Esa-Pekka Salonen (age 56) is another conductor who has only led one opera at the Met.  He is conducting the much-anticipated new production of Elektra next season. Unlike most everyone else on the list, he actually has time to take on a new role, but ostensibly wants more time to compose. Again, I would assume that if he wanted to conduct more opera, he would have found a way to do so before now.

Gianandrea Noseda (age 50) has substantial operatic conducting experience and certainly his Prince Igor was ecstatically received. Given the operatic funding crises in Italy, one could see how he might want to relocate to NYC where the operatic funding situation is ever-so-slightly less precarious. I don’t know if he’s a big enough name for such a prominent role, but, then again, Fabio Luisi wasn’t exactly a celebrity conductor when he took on the Principal Conductor mantle.

Vladimir Jurowski (age 42) is another with substantial operatic experience and his work at the Met has been very successful. His existing Europe-based conducting obligations would preclude much of a commitment to the Met without jettisoning something else.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin (age 39) is frequently proposed as a likely candidate for a more prominent role at Met. In fact, he is slated to conduct the new production of Otello on Opening Night next season. His base in Philadelphia is extremely convenient, although his work in Rotterdam would probably get squeezed out. I certainly hope for New York’s sake that it wasn’t his idea to cast Mojca Erdmann on either of his Mozart opera recordings.

Andris Nelsons (age 36) has just taken on a new BSO Music Director position that would be very convenient for scheduling in work at the Met, On the other hand, when James Levine held simultaneous prominent roles in Boston and NYC, things didn’t work out so well. The BSO Board might just kibosh the whole idea. Also, while the critical reception for Nelsons’ work to date has been very strong, his conducting at the Met has been less positively received.

Michele Mariotti (age 36) , despite having increasingly prominent assignments at the Met, he has focused his attentions at the Met and nearly entirely on late 18th and early 19th century repertoire. While he has considerable talent, his specialization seems to preclude him from a more expanded role at the Met.

My personal hope is for Vladimir Jurowski, but I’m not optimistic that wish will be granted.

  • Krunoslav

    “Wigglesworth!”, the Vicar tweets vehemently.

    • Dawn Fatale

      Not Edward Gardner?

      • operaassport

        Please not a third rate British maestro like Chicago has :(

        Jurowski. Yes! He’s amazing plus he has great hair :)

        • manou

          If it comes down to a tonsorial choice, nobody can beat Muti. Rustioni’s locks are in training, and there is always the small pocket conductor Gheorghiu favours (Ion Marin?).

          • Batty Masetto

            When I saw “small pocket conductor” I actually thought at first you meant some kind of purse-sized electric gizmo she could plug in and grab the other end of to get a nice frizzy coiffure.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    They can damn well do without one. Gelb couldn’t care less and not having a Gay M. D. will save a lot of money.

    • bluecabochon

      “Gelb couldn’t care less and not having a Gay M. D. will save a lot of money.”


    • Huh? That has to be one of the most WTF comments I’ve ever read on the site, and that’s saying a lot.

      • +1

      • Dawn Fatale

        So QPF is referring to the persistent rumors about James Levine’s pedophilia and the considerable sums the Met has had to pay to make claims of inappropriate behavior by Levine “go away”. Clearly QPF believes that all gays are pedophiles and that all those 1950s psychology textbooks are the latest word on the subject. YNS should sue him for libel.

        • mmaarrkk59

          BC’s comment’s stunning stupidity (say that here?) is perhaps only surpassed by what seems to be their unthinking malice toward gay men and ignorance about them.

          • mmaarrkk59

            QPF is the one I meant.

          • It was NOT BC’s comment!

            • mmaarrkk59

              Look up?

            • Yes, look up. It was QPF’s comment and BC was only questioning it’s appropriateness.

            • Apologies, I now see your second post!


            • mmaarrkk59

              No worries. (Your tumbler is awesome, by the way.)

            • Wow, you are so nice to say that! Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to keep it properly updated.

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            It is the German pronounciation of GMD. It’s not GEE M.D. It’s GAY M.D.

            • Quanto Painy Fakor

              Actually it’s Gay M Day.

            • bluecabochon

              I am not buying this argument.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

          NO CRETINI! GMD = GENERAL MUSIK DIREKTOR. I just spelled it like the Gay Schwitz

          • mmaarrkk59

            LOL… oh please. B.t.h please.

    • olliedawg

      QPP has now proffered tropes that are tiresome at best, and offensive at worst.

  • YNS all the way!

  • On the matter of “would have found more time for opera,” most orchestral conductors can’t find four to six weeks on their schedules for the rehearsal and performance period -- so, yes, it’s relevant whether they’ve managed to make that time.

    Missing a few potential candidates from that list, though.

    Donald Runnicles, 60, former MD of the San Francisco Opera, now at Deutsch Oper Berlin; a great conductor across a wide range of material. James Conlon</b?, 66, again, a great conductor and frankly wasted at LA Opera, where he has to deal with the Domingo ego and a short schedule that is sometimes great and sometimes just awful (see next year's dull duller dullest). Antonio Pappano, 55, currently MD of the Royal Opera House. Excellent in Italian opera but I don’t think you want him in much German rep.

    Not in the running, I would think: Patrick Summers and Nicola Luisotti.

    • Argh, sorry about that formatting. Not intending to put a special highlight on Conlon. My personal favorite of those would be Runnicles, of course.

    • manou

      Hands off Pappano!

    • Liz.S

      Oh it’s extremely unlikely Pappano’s being considered. When was the last time he conducted at the Met? -- I don’t even remember…

      Also he’s loved so much in London and I don’t really see any reasons why he would be motivated to give that up to start anew at the Met, where surely there would be constant comparisons -- “Jimmy this Jimmy that”

      • I like Pappano’s work very much, but I agree that there isn’t real reason to associate him with the Met. To me, it just implies that every conductor would naturally yearn to be MD of the Met. Why would he want to leave his post at ROH?

        • If you’re tossing around possibilities, you might as well list everyone who might be chosen, hence Pappano, who has been successful at the ROH.

          Did anyone here expect Alan Gilbert to succeed Loren Maazel? (Or Maazel to succeed Masur, for that matter.)

          • Liz.S

            Right, let’s add some more with reasonable reputations with comparatively weak links at the Met and chat -- it’s more fun that way :-)

            Thielemann, Dutoit, Carlo Rizzi, Kirill Petrenko, Järvi (père et fils), Fischer brothers, Philippe Jordan, Daniel Harding, Dudamel, Battistoni, Rustioni, Kazushi Ono, Eschenbach, Barenboim, Jansons, Kent Nagano, Myung-whun Chung, Dmitri Jurowski…
            Who else?

            • CwbyLA

              They will probably want to get Dudamel whose contract at the LA Opera is expiring in 4 years.

            • Liz.S

              I actually think he is being considered although his opera career is very short. He is another one that can fill the halls in NYC with his enormous popularity and I trust the board would love that.

              However, like some other candidates mentioned here -- Dude is a serious contender for Berlin Phil (prob strongest among them.) I think we’ll see clearer picture of who-gets-which-orch/house after the election at Berlin Phil(it should happen sometime this year, right?)

            • Feldmarschallin

              Thielemann, Petrenko and Jordan would never want to live in the US. Petrenko is very shy and would not at all with such a GMD as Gelb. Jansons is old and rather sick and has had several heart attacks and I fear one day he will end up like Mottl and Keilberth. Nagano you can have. Ditto Eschenbach.

            • Krunoslav

              “Thielemann […] would never want to live in the US”

              Pity, his worldview would fit in well in Northern Idaho. Does Paraguay have an opera company?

  • Cicciabella

    In recent statements in the media surrounding His 60th birthday, Simon Rattle:

    1. Said that he and his family plan to continue living in Berlin, even after he and the Berliner part ways.
    2. He’s very much interested in doing more opera. It was at his instigation that the Berliner is now involved in the Baden Baden festival, where they added Puccini to their repertoire.

    • Cicciabella

      Ehm…Sir Simon is obviously just a knight, not a godhead.

      Re: YNS. His inolvement with the Rotterdam Philharmonic is limited to 3 to 4 programmes a year at home, plus appearances abroad. Unfortunately, the RPhil is struggling with financial problems at the moment, and his contract is finite, of course: until 2018?

      • Uninvolved Bystander

        Philly just extended YNS till 2021-2022. I think it puts him in excellent position to succeed Levine. Since he’s only 39, he can take a prominent position at the Met (if not the Principal Conductor) for several years. Maestro Levine will not just walk away; he will likely be continuing to coach singers (even as his conducting schedule is pared away) and be a presence at the Met for some time to come. In the meantime, YNS continues to mature in Philly and gradually ease into the MD position at the Met.

        Personally, I think Maestro Luisi has the more interesting opera house in Zurich.

        • Luisi accepted the Zurich position before Levine’s long absence, and I agree with you.

    • Walther von Holzhaufen

      Rattle --zzzzzzzzzzzz

      Runnicles — Irontongue, I have great respect for your opinions, but I disagree about Runnicles. Yes, he has a lot of experience with a wide range of operas and on occasion he leads a good performance … Wagner, for example. But I’ve sat through too many evenings at Deutsche Oper where his conducting has been graceless, overly loud, and devoid of interpretive insight. He has shown no ability or interest in fostering disciplined playing from the orchestra at the Deutsche Oper.

      Salonen would be really interesting, but I question whether the Met would be prepared to go where he might want to take an opera company?

      • Thanks, Walther -- I have not heard him at DOB, alas. Sorry to hear about the lousy performances.

  • la vociaccia

    YNS. It will likely happen. And it will be great. YNS (when he isn’t under the gun of DG) chooses excellent singers for his concerts. The Erdmann/Villazon/everything else wrong with those Mozart recordings is not his fault.

    • Liz.S

      I remember he also proactively chose Popsy for his Verdi requiem though…

      • Porgy Amor

        Well…that topic is an exhausting one to contemplate, and these days a sad one too. I will only say that many people did find her performances of the Verdi Requiem very powerful and moving when she was…I don’t want to say “singing well.” Pre-damaged?

        • Liz.S

          “pre-damaged” -- I love that :-D

        • I was one. In Brussels.

      • la vociaccia

        Popsy for Verdi Requiem =/= Popsy for Robert le Diable


      • Liz.S

        Everybody loves YNS and he seems to be the person who would gladly take it, so isn’t it a happy marriage?

        As for YNS’s Verdi requiem, the backup seemed to be Angela Meade. She stepped in for a perf in Philly due to Popsy’s “illness” actually. I remember wishing the announcement to come so badly sitting and waiting at CH.

        Just FYI :-P

        • Porgy Amor

          he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate

          At that point, he’ll only conduct a few things a year, usually specialties, not as well as he used to conduct them, but everyone will speak of him with reverence.

  • Liz.S

    “he will step down as the Met’s Music Director sometime in the next few years to assume the role of Conductor Laureate”
    Many positions seems to be open at great orchestras roughly in synch with Rattle’s departure from Berlin Phil (2018) and you’re saying the Met could be another one? If this is based on tell-tale signs, this was the best news bit I’ve encountered today!

    We should remember conductors have their own priorities in their artistic pursuits. Full time MD at the Met means less time in working on non-operatic pieces. Plus I doubt the Met can be seen as one of the attractive ones with too much non-artistic obligations like fund raising activities, dealing with the current admin & the board, etc. in their eyes.
    Ah, also musically the Met Orch is in competition with Wiener Staatsoper orch (or Wien Phil), whose MD position is still open after FMW left.

    I don’t believe Salonen, Jurowski or Rattle would take it even if they’re offered, although as an audience member at the Met, I feel the more they vist, the better (well, with Rattle, only on certain pieces.)

    Nelsons -- I agree it’s very difficult to pick up a full-time MD job with 12 weeks of obligations at BSO plus Bayreuth and other guest orchestral conducting obligations around the world

    Noseda -- Didn’t he re-commited at Torino just recently? I would love him for Verdi but not sure what to feel about the idea of his Wagner or Strauss.

    Mariotti -- could be. But doesn’t he still need to prove he can deal with non-Italian repertories?

    Runnicles -- I love that, but has he appeared recently? (I know he’s visiting Philly on regular basis)

    My bet is on YNS, who is, for me, the least interesting musically. He has vast repertories under his belt (at least on the record) and seems to love doing “look at me, love me, donate!” activities. He’s extremely popular, too. Gelb and the board must be very happy if he’s the one.

    BTW -- among those who guest-conducts recently at the Met, we also have Gatti, Robertson, Conlon, Langree, Heras-Casado, Frizza, u.s.w.

    • Bill

      Franz Welser-Moest, having left the Vienna Opera,
      must have a few open dates in the next 4 years. Unlikely he would want to be GMD of the Metropolitan Opera as he has commitments in Cleveland, in Salzburg, Vienna Philharmonic etc. but certainly might be utilized for some performances at the Met in the future.

      • Liz.S

        “certainly might be utilized for some performances at the Met in the future”
        I really like that. I don’t remember his recent concert perfs (Salome, Wozzeck) with CLO and Wph in NYC were well received by the media unfortunately, though.

        I just secure my seat for operatic outings by Muti & CSO, FWM & CLO, Nelsons & BSO with a heart beat even if they are not staged. I would rely on Carnegie Hall to keep it happening, rather than waiting for the Met!

        • Satisfied

          Though I am a fan of Möst with Cleveland and look forward to their performances this summer in New York, I generally do not care for Möst in operatic territory nor do I care for his work with other institutions. His Beethoven 9 last year was one of the biggest disappointments of the season (on par with Gilbert’s banal Requiem this year).

          Though I know it would not happen, I would simply love it if Muti were to succeed. With that said, I think its more than likely YNS will succeed: and that’s not at all a bad thing!

          • Liz.S

            I’m looking forward to, esp. Daphne and Messiaen this Summer, too! :-)
            You didn’t like FWM’s Salome and Wozzeck at CH?

            Haven’t heard his Ninth (I opted for Jaroussky at the ohter Met on that day) but after listening to it frequently due to its anniversary recently, Rattle, Barenboim, V.Petrenko and some other (not live) disappointed me also. I concluded it is a rare and lucky chance to encounter a good perf of the Ninth nowadays.
            His (& CLO) missa solemnis (last season at LC i think) was superb thoguh

            Yes, Muti is also in the list of “great conductors who won’t take the offer”, to our misfortune…

          • Bill

            Satisfied -- Welser-Moest’s Parsifal in
            Vienna last April was grandiose -- gorgeously conducted. However his Mozart (operas) has not been as well received in Vienna where Krips, Boehm, von Karajan, Muti among others are
            remembered with deep affection as Mozart
            conductors (and Furtwaengler from Salzburg).
            Interestingly, Ozawa, when he was in Vienna
            also had less success conducting Mozart operas.

            • Satisfied

              Hello Liz and Bill!

              I am very much looking forward to the Cleveland residency, in particular the Messiaen! I’m sure you’re aware that Salonen is doing the Turangalîla-Symphonie next tear with the NY Phil! I can’t hardly wait!

              I did see both the Salome and the Wozzeck at Carnegie. I will admit, I attended predominately because of their leading ladies (particularly Salome…I was incredibly fortunate to see Stemme both here and in Stockholm last year in a full production). I felt Most was fine in Strauss…not so comfortable in Berg. Evelyn was of course worth the price of admission, but it was otherwise a simply capable performance.

    • Ludovic Morlot quit La Monnaie. Perhaps he has hopes…

      • Liz.S

        I remember the news. I felt it a bit strange that the reason was artistic diff with the orch, instead of the usual “with the admin.”
        He may be well perceived for his Adam’s work with his Seattle band here but he’s not a well known or popular conductor who can fill the halls in NYC yet, is he?
        Has he ever conducted at the Met? I’m certainly curious how he does.

        • I was told “He isn’t an opera conductor”.

          • Chanterelle

            My impression of La Monnaie’s orchestra hasn’t been great. After the Don Giovanni, I wasn’t surprised that he might be fed up with the ensemble. Then again, I’ve been unimpressed with his operatic Mozart (Don G, Clemenza). His Jenufa was much better, but I don’t think he has the stature or opera experience to be in the running for the Met. He’s only about 30.

            About a year ago, in conversation after a Seattle Orch. press event, he expressed interest in a closer relationship with the Seattle Opera. He had just moved his family to Seattle, which is a pretty big commitment. If your new orchestra gets 6 Grammy nominations and you’re still working with a more recalcitrant band (whose parent organization has just had a whopping subsidy cut), those 14 hour commutes might not seem worth it anymore.

            • The orchestra was better before he came. I wasn’t suggesting I thought he should get the Met, only that maybe he might think so.

            • Chanterelle

              Interesting: I remember being unhappy with the orchestra in Huguenots, and subsequently finding them the weak link. Is this effect partly because the guest period bands are so much more colorful and disciplined?

              The best I’ve heard them was in Parsifal, under Haenchen, and--well actually, I though the orchestra sounded pretty good under Morlot in the Jenufa (can’t find my notes at the moment but I *think* it was the Jenufa where the orchestra seemed much improved).

              Ono is conducting the next 3 symphony concerts. It would be interesting to hear whether they perk up under him, but I won’t be around--will you be attending?

            • No. I only have a Sunday matinee opera sub.

              I found Morlot consistently dull. The orchestra isn’t the VPO, of course, but I have been a little surprised by recent performances. They were better under Pappano or Ono.

            • I just checked what I wrote about Jenufa: “I read in the press that Ludovic Morlot was at least better in Janacek than in Mozart. To me, this Jenufa sounded more like a reading than a performance, lacking in variety and subtlety”.

              I probably had too much wine over lunch.

            • Chanterelle

              Oh, I learned not to drink wine before the opera. I have nodded off at every single performance at La Monnaie. The house is always overheated and the seats too comfortable.

              Actually, I stayed awake for all of Parsifal. Seated in the front row I really wanted to keep an eye on the python.

            • Mine is a Sunday matinee subscription, at 3 p.m. So I naturally come from lunch (via coffee at the Dominican round the back). The heat, darkness and often gentle music after lunch are perfect for an afternoon nap.

  • Melot’s Younger Brother

    “I’ll give you my baton when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” — James Levine

    • Liz.S

      It indeed seems to be the case with him, doesn’t it?

    • That is what I think too. He will leave the Met only in a box.

      • A parterre one?

      • olliedawg

        irontongue: I agree.

        I’m not sure why Mr. Levine’s 72nd birthday is relevant to his continued tenure at the Met. I suspect he has long-lived friendships with the Board members, who are just as happy to have him in the pit until he decides he wants to retire.

  • sterlingkay

    I think the two top contenders are YNS and Jurowski with Noseda having an outside chance. I don’t think it’s insignificant that Yannick has conducted at the MET every single season that Gelb has planned. They obviously have a good relationship. And now he gets the plum assignment of an Opening Night. For many reasons, Yannick would be a great choice. He is young— after these last few years with Levine, i don’t think the MET wants to deal with another aging maestro who would not be taking over until three or four years down the line. Yannick is charismatic and— from everything I hear from friends in Philadelphia— he is a tireless fundraiser, which the MET desperately needs after Levine’s hands-off approach to raising money and glad-handing.

    Interesting tidbit: The Philadelphia Orchestra announced it’s 15-16 season last week and James Levine is scheduled for a weekend of concerts (his only non-Met/non-NY engagement in a long time). When asked about this by the press, Yannick said he personally courted Levine.

    • Liz.S

      “Yannick said he personally courted Levine”
      Sounds so likely. I’m pretty sure YNS is among the few who are shooting for and willing to take this position (and I don’t think Jurowski is.)

      It’s kind of funny that Rattle and Jurowski were also the primary contenders for Phil Orch until they turned the offers down, isn’t it?
      Noseda’s another regular there -- I also heard they were tyring to tie some sort of official knot with him in the past as well.

      Surprisingly enough, Levine is to appear at Verbier Festival this Summer as well.

      • sterlingkay

        I actually think Jurowski would take the MET job if offered. He and his wife Patricia love NY and he seemed to enjoy himself enormously working at the MET on Hansel & Gretel and Die Frau. He does not have huge, long-term commitments in Europe. He has also not made a secret of his desire to run an Opera House some day. Of the three choices that seem viable to me (YNS, Jurowski and Noseda), he is the best conductor but I wonder how much he would take to the fundraising and PR requirements of the job.

        • Liz.S

          I consider him the best, even compared to anybody who were mentioned here.
          (musically I have no interest whatsoever in YNS)

          NYC is perhaps the only city of their choice in the US but there are some other opps being unfold closer to their home, as well.
          We’ll eventually see ;-)

          • littoraldrift

            “musically I have no interest whatsoever in YNS”

            Gotta say I second this, and grew more and more perplexed at YNS’s meteoric rise and general acclaim the more I heard. I find his approach high on energy but way unsubtle and just unilluminating — kind of in the manner of Leonard Bernstein on his worst behavior? I gave up trying to like his conducting after a Carnegie Hall performance of Bartok’s 3rd piano concerto during which Radu Lupu seemed to be trying to dematerialize in the face of YNS’s unremittingly hamfisted approach. (It was quite a feat.)

        • Howling in Tune

          I’ve read that Jurowski is unwilling to move his family (meaning, I presume, his children) to the U.S., and that that was why he was uninterested in the Philadelphia job.

          But if he and his wife love New York, well -- how old are his children? At some point before too long, they’ll be college-age and that won’t be an issue.

  • Satisfied

    And coming out the gates: Rattle for…New York?

    I find it difficult to believe that he would lead New York at Avery Fisher; but just maybe he would lead them on a fund raising jubilee into their new hall. And more than most musicians, Rattle has made a presence with his orchestra throughout New York during their residencies. Should New York need to be a nomadic presence, I think we’d be lucky to have him (and the Met would have him right across the plaza!!!)

  • overstimmelated

    “it seems inevitable that he will step down … sometime in the next few years”

    But what does “seems inevitable” mean? Is it reportage, rumor, an educated guess, an uneducated guess, wishful thinking, or is it the word from the Delphic oracle, like this:

    • Camille

      Overstimmelated—(what a great parterre moniker!)—this was indeed a fascinating blast from the past for which I thank you for your archaeological digging skill. Of especial interest was Drew80 and the information which the redoubtable mrsjohnclaggart had to provide.

      Of course, a few of those mentioned are now deceased, slightly changing the viable candidate list but there are plenty of other newbies to take their collective place. My bet is on someone young and flexible, a fundraiser and crowd pleaser and, above all, a maestro that will know how to conduct Gelb’s march, to his strict tempi.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • Feldmarschallin

      Fleming and Netrebko should look at that youtube clip and üben, üben, üben.

    • Batty Masetto

      It appears the chicken is being vocalized by Nadja Michael.

    • Camille

      Mucho Danke! I never learned my ah bay tsay’s properly and had forgotten how to say jot!

      Shame they don’t include pronunciations for the sounds unique auf Deutsch.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        You will find more here

        • Camille

          Very useful and easy. I had forgotten many of these so it will be helpful as I am trying to regain some proficiency in German, which I have always struggled with mightily.

          Sort of miss the chicken in this one, though.

          Und Upsilon ist immer upsilon!!

          • Quanto Painy Fakor

            Yeah, if you’re not careful you might want to say Leonie Reespilonanek.

            • Camille

              Ha! Die Leonissima war eine Böhmer, nix?
              Doesn’t count as the same thing, even if an echte Wiener.

            • Quanto Painy Fakor

              LOL! Leonie was never a bummer. Now for those who want to say GMD correctly in Italian:

            • Camille

              Haha! Her name was exempt from The Rule of Upsilon, was it not, because it was Czech? I don’t know which one, either. Böhmisch or Slvisch or Whatisch!

              Hey, the Italian alphabet lacks the i lunga! Not as much fun as the German alphabet, anyway!

  • David

    Rattle has said recently that he is interested in London if the conditions improve. Getting him to London would be seen as a major coup for the London Mayor and UK Arts Minister -- he’s probably the most recognisable conductor amongst the British public. Question is, can we afford him if he comes with conditions?

  • redbear

    Odd. Can anyone image who the conductor is on some of your lists who has had the longest association with the Met orchestra? (He was a Callas favorite). He is the ultimate Met insider and one of America’s great conductors (is the problem that he’s an American and thus not of sufficient stature?). He transformed the Paris Opera orchestra during his term there. Everyone knew that it was the best orchestra in France then -- not an inconsiderable achievement. His time in Cologne is still remembered as the time when that orchestra reached international fame. Critics praise his Ravinia Festival leadership. Anyone with half a brain would have appointed him years ago. The Met orchestra has had part time or no-time musical leadership for a decade or so and lacks any detectable artistic leadership. And those things matter.

    • Camille

      You are speaking of Maestro Conlon, are you not?

      A ‘Callas Insider’, I do not follow you here….would he have conducted her in anything at all? Acted as a pianist/accompanist maybe?

      He does not get that much respect from some quarters and I think you have some valid points made above. I have never heard a bad performance from him, and many a good one. Sorry to have lost some of those with the L.A.Opera with the rara avis operas.

      • Camille

        ‘A Callas favorite’, you said, sorry.

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

          That reference is to Conlon’s Juilliard days, when Callas was doing her Masterclasses there and attended some of the LA BOHEME rehearsals that Conlon was conducting with the students. She made some positive comments about him to the right people. Others in NY were much more Callas insiders” than he was.

          • Camille

            Ah yes. Thanks for explaining. Figured it might be something to do with Juilliard.

            Somehow it doesn’t quite add up about Conlon, but then, ich weiss gar nix.

    • steveac10

      ” He is the ultimate Met insider and one of America’s great conductors (is the problem that he’s an American and thus not of sufficient stature?)”

      I think the problem is he’s nearly as old as Levine. Sure, he’s on better health -- but I’m sure the Met will want someone younger.

      • redbear

        You can always check the internet (he’s 64, too old?) but has been conducting at the Met for four decades. One issue in replacing Levine is that the Met is a full time job. A name not mentioned, Tugan Sokhiev, one of the hottest names around, has just abandoned his contract renewal with the Deutsches Symphonie -- one of Germany’s top -- because his new music directorship of the Bolshoi takes way more of his time that he imagined. Any conductor would, of course, know that the Met would fill their calendar. This raises a second issue. Why would any serious artist who cares about opera agree to creatively partner with such an “lightweight” as Gelb (that word was the most generous I could think of). What power would the new MD have, if any? The board’s continuous support of Gelb is, ultimately, the central weakness of the Met and why its future is so worrysome.