Two looming big holes in British opera

Two looming big holes in British opera


norman lebrecht

August 30, 2010

At the closing performance of the Glyndebourne season, chairman Gus Christie announced that Vladimir Jurowski was leaving in three years (as tweeted by Jessica Duchen). By then he will have put in 13 happy years and kept Glyndebourne fresh and challenging throughout, deepening the Wagner content, introducting Russian operas and generally being there through each summer as a hands-on musical leader. The ever-rising Juro will be just 41 when he moves on.

That year, 2013, will also be Antonio Pappano’s last at Covent Garden. There will be plenty of press chatter in the years ahead about likely contenders and I don’t intend to waste this space on idle speculation. That said, you’d have to be a slow-witted Martian with mobility problems not to spot that the timing of the two departures looks just perfect for the Metropolitan Opera.

The Met will need strong candidates to be free when it has to get to grips with James Levine’s health problems and its artistic future. Those issues cannot be dodged much longer. It helps that there are now two hats in the ring, each with an outstanding international record.