Belgians get an Argentine music director

Belgians get an Argentine music director


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2018

The Argentine Alejo Pérez has been named music director of  Opera Flanders, effective immediately.

Pérez, 44, conducted Pelléas et Mélisande last season and is currently rehearsing Lohengrin.


  • Olassus says:

    from Karsten Witt:

    In recent seasons, Alejo Pérez has shown his worth at the Salzburg Festival (including a performance of Gounod’s Faust with the Vienna Philharmonic), at the Teatro Colón with Parsifal and Der Rosenkavalier, as well as at the Semperoper Dresden with Carmen and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago with Eugene Onegin.

    Alejo Pérez made a series of successful debuts in the 2017/18 season including with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg at the Elbphilharmonie, at the Opera Vlaanderen (Pelléas et Mélisande), the Stuttgart Opera (Cherubini’s Medea) and in Japan with the Yomiuri Nippon Orchestra and the Nikikai Opera Company (Der Freischütz). The season ended on a high with a sold-out concert at the Teatro Colón with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires and works by Debussy, Mahler, Schoenberg and Scriabin.

    He will open the Opera Vlaanderen’s 2018/19 opera season with Lohengrin, directed by David Alden. He will also return to the opera houses in Stuttgart (The Love for Three Oranges), Lyon (From the House of the Dead), Rome (The Fiery Angel) and Buenos Aires (Ariadne auf Naxos), and will lead the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.

    Alejo Pérez has been at the rostrum of numerous renowned orchestras in recent years, among them the Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, SWR Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. He has also collaborated with the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble intercontemporain, and Klangforum Wien.

    The polyglot Argentinian studied both composition and conducting, in addition to piano, in his native Buenos Aires. Formative periods at the start of his career included assisting the composer Peter Eötvös, whose operas Angels in America and Lady Sarashina were premiered under Pérez’ direction, as well as Christoph von Dohnányi at the NDR Symphony Orchestra, which he regularly conducted.

    Between 2009 and 2012 Alejo Pérez was Music Director of the venerable Teatro Argentino de La Plata, to which he brought a new lease of life. He was praised by critics and audiences alike for performances of works including Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 and new productions of Nabucco, Don Carlos, La Damnation de Faust, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Tristan und Isolde and Rheingold.

    Alejo Pérez was one of the main conductors at the Teatro Real Madrid from 2010 during the era of Gerard Mortier, closely working with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid for concerts with Plácido Domingo, Teresa Berganza and Ian Bostridge, and celebrated performances of Rienzi, Don Giovanni,Death in Venice, Golijov’s Ainadamar and Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico. He also continues to enjoy long working relationships with the Opéra de Lyon (Pelléas et Mélisande, TheStigmatized and Raskatov’s GerMANIA) and the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (La Cenerentola, The Nose and Lulu).

  • David Verios says:

    Their name translates to Opera Flanders, not the Flemish Opera.
    He starts next season as MD, not immediately.
    The company has two houses, Antwerp and Ghent. The orchestra is in centered in Ghent but the company offices and rehearsals are in Antwerp.

    I’m shocked that there would be misinformation/half truths on this blog. Except that it’s every day….

    • norman lebrecht says:

      I translated from the German. Something may have got lost, but it was clearly stated that he starts the 2018-19 season.

      • Max Grimm says:

        I don’t know which source you read, but I believe that either the source was incorrect in their reporting or you may have misread what the dates stand for.
        Pérez will open the 2018/2019 season with Lohengrin on September 20th but will not take up the position of music director until the 2019/2020 season.
        From Opera Vlaanderen itself:
        A new music director for Opera Vlaanderen in 2019!

        From season 2019-2020 onwards, Alejo Pérez will be Opera Vlaanderen’s new music director. He has been appointed by Jan Vandenhouwe, who will be our new artistic director in that same season.

        Alejo Pérez is currently preparing for our inaugural opera production Lohengrin, premiering on the 20th of September. Earlier this year, he led the orchestra and choir through a well-received production of Pélleas et Mélisande.