It was around the turn of the year that Peter Gelb received instructions from his board to sign Yannick Nézet-Séguin as the next music director.
No other name was on the table.
Gustavo Dudamel might have been considered, but he has refused to work at the Met until he can control his own video rights.
Antonio Pappano, the experienced Covent Garden director, did not go down well in New York.
The leading European opera house music directors – Ricardo Chailly, Christian Thielemann, Kirill Petrenko, Philippe Jordan – did not get a call.
It was Yannick, or bust.
But why the rush?
Everyone knew that Yannick was not going to be available before the decade was out. That left plenty of time to try out a few other names before reaching a final decision.
Someone, it seems, panicked over Yannick. He may, in the final reckoning, be the best person for the job, but the manner of his appointment is messy and the delay before he starts work unsatisfactory.
An unseemly panic.