Met taps Frankfurt music director

We hear that Sebastian Weigle will replace James Levine in next season’s Der Rosenkavalier.

More here than meets the eye?

Weigle, 56, has been a diligent music director at Frankfurt Opera since 2008, and before that at the Liceu in Barcelona. He knows the opera house inside out and he has conducted at the Met before.

Given that the Met’s first-choice music director won’t be available before the end of the decade, might Weigle be a stop-gap?

sebastian weigle

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  • Maybe the MET doesn’t need a conductor Music Director. Levine as all-powerful music director was unprecedented. Conductors like Reiner, Szell, Leinsdorf had brief spells as major figures, but the only other conductor even to hold the title was Rafael Kubelik, and for just a year before Levine took over. Maybe time to go back to that model; the MET may be too big an institution for one person.

  • Weigle renewed in Frankfurt till 2022 one or two years ago. But the Met would be an offer he could not refuse, I guess.

  • Weigle would be superb choice, particularly if allowed, as in Frankfurt, to concentrate in the Met in his strongest repertoire (German, Wagner and Strauss in particular) with specialists for Italian and French as well as Classical and Baroque repertoire complementing his conducting schedule. A hornist himself, he is really a conductor who connects to other musicians and in Frankfurt, a house with a strong Intendant, he has excelled by being able to focus on musical quality rather than management issues. Under his baton, the Opera Orchestra has become one the finest ensembles in Germany.

    • “A house with a strong Intendant” Aye, there’s the rub! The Met has no Intendant. Instead it has a General Manager who has all but taken over the role of Artistic Director as that is where his real interests seem to lie. Without a strong Intendant and Verwaltungsdirektor at the Met, would Weigle actually be able to flourish as he does in Frankfurt?

    • I totally agree: but Weigle has been able to programme much more interesting operas (and get good audiences) than the MET ever does: the MET might be dull and boring after Frankfurt!!! AND riven with argument/stress etc!! I hope he doesn’t go for purely selfish reasons!!!!!

  • Norman believes the Met’s first choice is Yannick Nezet-Seguin. In this, as in so much besides, he is entirely wrong.

  • Weigle’s Meistersinger at Bayreuth which I heard was fine. As in, OK, fine, nothing special at all… Jimmy leaves a very big hole here.

  • Lebrecht is more than right about Weigle.. he is very, very right… YNS ain’t happening for Rosenkavalier, even though Parterre said it was happening

  • They’ll never get Yannick because Yannick would want too much power and input…it’s Gelb’s house now and he won’t cede anything.

  • Weigl’s Zauberflote at the Met (I believe it was his debut) was good, but nothing special. The sad part is that, unless Pappano is interested, the Met will be getting a conductor of a much lesser stature than Levine.

  • Yannick Nezet-Seguin would be a fine choice. His work in Philadelphia has been terrific, the players love him and his musicianship and brio. I am frankly surprised that Pappano’s name is in the mix; you’d think he’d had enough of the Opera house thanks to Covent Garden. Either of these men could handle the job well, and with good behavior. Neither man is a divo.

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