Yannick: What I learned from James Levinemain
In an article on the Met musicians’ website, the incoming music director reflects on his predecessor:
I have a personal story to share: Back in 2009, many months before my Met debut with Carmen, I expressed a wish to perform the opéra comique version of Carmen (with spoken dialogue). Jimmy asked for a phone conversation with me. Of course, I was very impressed by this gesture, and I was looking forward to finally speaking with my hero! When we spoke, he told me that he understood my wish, but at the same time he explained why he thought that at the Met it was actually preferable to remain with the grand opéra version (with sung recitatives).
He did this in such a collegial way, infectiously convincing, that I was convinced by his arguments! Of course, at the end of the day, he was the Music Director, but most of his colleagues in such a position would have done this in a very different, much less collaborative way. He talked to me with a blend of experience and a genuine feeling of dialoguing between musicians, which I think tells a lot about Jimmy’s human qualities.
Full article here.