Dudamel books wife as narrator

Dudamel books wife as narrator


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2019

The Spanish journal Scherzo reports that Gustavo Dudamel will appear on stage for the first time this week with his wife María Valverde, a Spanish actress.

She will give narration for a performance of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer’s Night Dream with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the Castell de Peralada Festival.

Summer frolics.



  • jamesay says:

    Ah nepotism… never far from the podiums……

    • Brian says:

      True, but I don’t recall seeing the same piling on about Andris Nelsons when he was constantly hiring Kristine Opolais in Boston. Or Simon Rattle and Kožená. Dudamel tends to be a bigger lightning rod, for whatever reason.

  • AllanC says:

    A mediocre actress. This is 100% nepotism

  • Rob says:

    Midsummer’s Night Bad Dream

  • The View from America says:

    A can’t-miss performance, no doubt.


  • Jack says:

    She’s an award-winning actor who has been in film for fifteen years. I’m sure she’ll do at least as fine a job as the disappointed also-rans, jamesay, AllanC, Rob, and TVfA

  • MusicBear88 says:

    Yes, it’s technically nepotism, but having your spouse narrate something isn’t like appointing them to be your concertmaster. I actually think it’s kind of sweet. But on this blog, Gustavo Dudamel can do no right. He’s either too out there, too safe, too popular, too classical, too political, or too out of touch. I think the real problem just MAY be that he’s too non-European.

  • Guadagnini says:

    Her oralll….I mean oratory skills got her hired.

  • Pizza says:

    Lots of pictures of Gustavo’s wife, Ms. Valverde, in her birthday suit online. I gather they’re from ‘roles’ she’s played? It looks as if she’s a natural brunette!

  • Topolissimo says:

    are you surprised?

  • M2N2K says:

    It’s good that the photo was changed and now shows the current Mrs. Dudamel instead of his first wife as in the previously posted picture. However, when one opens the post, the photo becomes cropped in such a way that neither Gustavo nor Maria is visible which doesn’t make any sense. This is one of this blog’s design flaws that needs to be fixed.

    • The View from America says:

      “However, when one opens the post, the photo becomes cropped in such a way that neither Gustavo nor Maria is visible which doesn’t make any sense.”

      Actually, it’s kind of refreshing.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Not like Simon Rattle or Andris Nelsons, aye.

  • Tamino says:

    This is just such bad manners, unethical, and nepotism. Particularly if public money is spent in the support of the artists and the event.
    The Barenboims, Rattles, Nelsons, and now also Dudamels, should stop this rotten practice, that showcase of abuse of power, that gives the musical world a bad taste. Artistic justification is the exception, not the norm, in these nepotistic hires.

    • Archie_V says:

      Don’t worry; nobody’s lining their pockets with your hard-earned taxes blah blah. The festival in question is funded entirely from – and basically owned by – a single private source (a hotel and casino group). Shouldn’t they they be allowed to hire anyone they want to front their bashes? Especially in this case, where the person they’re hiring has been one of Spain’s best-known actresses for many years, i.e., long before she hooked up with Dudamel.

      What a miserable, mean-spirited thread this has turned out to be. So Dudamel annoys people. I get that – I’m hardly a huge fan myself. But shouldn’t attacks on his behaviour be based on actual facts rather than baseless conjecture, sexist sniping and 1950s-style nudge-nudging?

  • Gustavo says:

    El sistema.

  • Guillermo García Calvo says:

    María Valverde is a great actress! Greetings from Spain

  • Nick2 says:

    There should be a rule amongst concert managers. If a conductor is engaged, his wife/partner can not be engaged fir the same concert/s – no matter how good he or she might be.

  • Mike says:

    Simon Rattle does it quite a lot.

    • The View from America says:

      “Simon Rattle does it quite a lot.”

      Which justifies everything.

      • M2N2K says:

        To be fair, Sir Simon has improved with age in that department: at least his current wife can sing, unlike his first one for whom he was doing the same thing in 1980s.

  • El Cid says:

    Dudamel is a Spanish citizen.