Lorin Maazel to Conduct at Met for First Time in 45 Years

Classic Arts News   Lorin Maazel to Conduct at Met for First Time in 45 Years
Lorin Maazel, one the world's most esteemed maestros, will return to the Metropolitan Opera for the first time in 45 years to conduct five performances of Wagner's Die Walk‹re, beginning January 7, 2008. These performances will be Maestro Maazel's first conducting assignments at the Met since the 1962-63 season, when he made his debut conducting performances of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier.

The Die Walk‹re performances run through February 9, 2008, with a cast that includes Lisa Gasteen as Br‹nnhilde, Adrianne Pieczonka and Deborah Voigt as Sieglinde, Stephanie Blythe and Michelle DeYoung as Fricka, Clifton Forbis and Simon O'Neill as Siegmund, James Morris as Wotan, and Mikhail Petrenko as Hunding.

"James Levine and I are delighted that Lorin Maazel will be returning to the Met after so many years," said Peter Gelb, the Met's General Manager. "We're determined to have the world's greatest conductors at the Met as guest artists on a regular basis. This is a big step in that direction."

Maestro Maazel said, "Of the four operas in the Ring cycle I have always found Die Walk‹re to be the most tender, most passionate. I anticipate with enormous pleasure being an integral part of the Met's revival of it next season and making music with a superb orchestra and a stellar cast."

Opera has figured prominently in Maestro Maazel's long and varied career. He was the first American to serve as General Manager and Chief Conductor of the Vienna State Opera, from 1982-84, and was Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1965-71. In 1960, he made his debut conducting Lohengrin at the storied Bayreuth Festival, as the first American to conduct there. Then, in 1968, he became the first non-German to lead a Ring cycle at Bayreuth. He has also conducted at La Scala, the Paris Opera, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and the Salzburg Festival. Filmed opera productions led by Maestro Maazel of Don Giovanni, Carmen and Otello have been widely seen, and the opera 1984, which he composed, had its world premiere at Covent Garden on May 3, 2005.

Maestro Maazel became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 2002. Past Philharmonic Music Directors who have conducted at the Metropolitan Opera while they held their duties at the Philharmonic include Anton Seidl, Emil Paur, John Barbirolli (once), Dimitri Mitropoulos, and Leonard Bernstein. Several other conductors performed with the Met, but not during their term as Music Director of the Philharmonic; legendary names such as Arturo Toscanini, Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski, George Szell, and Zubin Mehta are among them.

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