Golden de­but for Nezet-Seguin

Met orches­tra joins new con­duc­tor on­stage for bows

The Observer (Sarnia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

NEW YORK — Yan­nick NezetSeguin took the rare step of bring­ing the en­tire orches­tra on stage for cur­tain calls af­ter his first per­for­mance as mu­sic di­rec­tor of New York’s 135-year-old Metropoli­tan Opera.

The 43-year-old Mon­trealer led Tues­day night’s pre­miere of a new pro­duc­tion of Verdi’s La Travi­ata by Tony Award-win­ning di­rec­tor Michael Mayer, star­ring Diana Dam­rau, Juan Diego Flores and Quinn Kelsey.

In ad­di­tion to his new role as Met mu­sic di­rec­tor, Nezet- Seguin is mu­sic di­rec­tor of Mon­treal’s Orchestre Métropoli­tain and the Philadel­phia Orches­tra. He was also prin­ci­pal con­duc­tor of the Rot­ter­dam Phil­har­monic Orches­tra from 2008 to 2018.

As Met mu­sic di­rec­tor, he suc­ceeds James Levine, who made his con­duct­ing de­but with the Met in 1971 and was mu­sic di­rectero from 1976 un­til 2016. Nezet-Seguin as­sumed the role of di­rec­tor for the 2018–19 sea­son, two years ear­lier than an­tic­i­pated af­ter the sus­pen­sion (and later fir­ing) of di­rec­tor emer­i­tus Levine, who was ac­cused of sex­ual mis­con­duct be­fore and dur­ing his ten­ure at the Met.

Nezet-Seguin will con­duct three Met op­eras and two Met Orches­tra con­certs at Carnegie Hall in each of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 sea­sons.

Af­ter Tues­day’s de­but, gold con­fetti was dropped over NezetSeguin dur­ing his cur­tain call, and the orches­tra emerged from the wings to take bows be­hind him — rather than re­main in the pit or stand as it does on other nights.

As au­di­ence mem­bers left, they were handed small bot­tles of Prosecco la­belled “Vin­tage Yan­nick,” with the date and the ti­tle of the opera.

JONATHAN TICHLER/METROPOLI­TAN OPERA

Con­duc­tor Yan­nick Nezet-Seguin ac­knowl­edges the crowd at a cur­tain call fol­low­ing the new pro­duc­tion pre­miere of Verdi’s La Travi­ata, at the Metropoli­tan Opera in New York.

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