Welsh name untested music director

When Lothar Koengs finishes his term at the end of this season, his successor as music director of Welsh National Opera will be Tomáš Hanus.

The Czech, 45, has guest-conducted widely in Europe but he has only ever been music director of a company for two years, in Brno, and he has conducted the WNO orchestra just once – in a cathedral concert. Could be interesting.

Tomáš Hanus

(The agent is IMG Artists.)

UPDATE: IMG breakout agent Libby Abrahams reports Hanus is now with her boutique agency, Keynote.

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  • The ‘cathedral concert’ mentioned was at the Fishguard International Festival of Music’ and took place in St. Davids Cathedral. The program included stunning performances of both the Letter Scene from Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeney Onegin with WNO soloist Camilla Roberts and the same composer’s Symphony No. 4. It was a concert that far exceeded already high expectations. Many congratulations to both Maestro Hanus and WNO.

  • Of course, had they chosen a ‘tested’ conductor, Slipped Disc would not have complained that the same old faces keep showing up everywhere.

  • I think you miss the point: untested in opera. There have been splendid symphonic conductors ( Dutoit comes to mind, Slatkins disasters are notorious in the pit, although no one should dispute their skill) who dipped into theater conducting with little success. Many regard it as a separate skill, with unique challenges symphony conductors don’t have experience with.

  • He is an experienced opera conductor. But it is a little unusual to appoint a Music Director to an opera company where he or she has not conducted an opera… It’s really in the rehearsals that you can tell whether they are up to the job, and that’s about a lot more than the relationship with the orchestra…

  • Just throwing this in the mix of the conversation: Hanus , as most have said here, has very little experience as an opera conductor, although much more as symphonic….when is it that artistic directors or General Directors will have the courage to appoint a woman at the head of an important opera house? I believe that no woman is at the head of any major british or American theater (please correct me if I am wrong)? Simone Young just left Hamburg, what about Kerry Lynn Wilson who has years of experience speaks several languages, or the up and coming rising talent Speranza Scappucci, who is getting praises everywhere and has a brilliant career ahead and years of experience as a coach in all major theaters of the world? Just to mention 3 names…if any others come to mind please say so…Why is it that institutions would rather have an unexperienced male conductor at the helm rather than finally break a tabu? What are we waiting for????

  • So sorry to see Lothar Koenigs leaving – ‘Meistersinger’ under his direction was possibly the greatest production of any opera I’ve seen in 50 years or so. Good fortune to Maestro Hanus.

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