Paris to appoint Dudamel this week

Paris to appoint Dudamel this week


norman lebrecht

April 12, 2021

Alexander Neef, General Manager of the Paris Opera, has called a Zoom press conference for Friday morning to present the company’s next Music Director.

Friday 16 April 2021 at 11am (Paris time) in the presence of the new Music Director, live from the Palais Garnier.

The negotiations have been a very badly kept secret.

If it’s not Dudamel, it can only be Angela Merkel.




  • FrankUSA says:

    Ability no longer matters. It’s all PR. What the hell does Dudamel know about opera.

    • whatisgoingon says:

      anyone going to talk about how crappy his PR man must be? The past year we’ve heard nothing but that he’s likely taking over Paris and Dudamel kind of vibes with Venezuela’s dictatorship? To be fair, no amount of PR gloss is going to cover the fact that Dudamel has not had any major opera success in the better part of a decade. His Met Opera Otello stank, and his only other credits the past five years in opera have been Trovatore concerts/Otello at the Liceu (which everyone I know says were fine, but not noteworthy), Boheme in Paris (fine, but who gets a MD position based on Boheme??) and in LA (thank Speranza Scappucci for getting that orchestra in working order before Dudamel got the glory), and then Turandot in Wien which people just didn’t like. Better to stick to LA Phil where he can get credit for leading operas within the confines of Walt Disney Hall than where he won’t get any kudos for leading operatic repertoire.

    • fflambeau says:

      Dudamel knows more about opera than you do, FrankUSA. He conducted Don Giovanni in La Scala in 2006. In 2018, he made his Met debut conducting Othello.

  • Paul Hofst. says:

    One of the worst and unexperienced opera conductors today.
    His Wiener Staatsoper debut (conducting Turandot) was a disgrace!

  • Dubious says:

    This will be a disaster. He speaks no other languages other than Spanish and English. No French, German, or Italian. And he has close to no opera experience. What could go wrong?

    • Concertgebouw79 says:

      He speaks well italian I saw him on a talk show of la RAI.

    • sam says:

      Nothing can go wrong, what’s so bad about a company that does only English and American operas?

      A whole season ought to be devoted to Britten, to begin with. Then another to Glass.

      As for Spanish language operas, no better time to commission works from Latin America to create an entire new repertory for generations to come.

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    Never good when the deal is too long and when there’s no secret. I hope that he will do some records with the orchestra quickly. For the concerts we will have to wait.

  • Alexander T says:

    Dudamel, Rattle, Barenboim, Gergiev….
    As much brands as they are conductors. And very overrated at that.

    • Vito says:

      The last best Music Director of Paris Opera was James Conlon,,an American, who did wonderful things with Hugues Gall. The last of exciting and memorable Paris performances. and last

    • J Barcelo says:

      Barenboim and Gergiev have both proven their opera chops repeatedly. Rattle, I don’t know. Dudamel is like too many conductors these days who want to conduct opera but never spent time as a repetiteur. Didn’t come up through the ranks. Maybe things are different now, but the best opera conductors spent years learning the craft. In any event, the Dude still hasn’t proven he’s much more than mediocre, at least on record.

    • Patrick says:

      Not Barenboim nor Gergiev. Musicians indeed. The other two, mere pretenders.

  • Alexander T says:

    Ps: I forgot to mention Thielemann. A brand? Maybe maybe not. Overhyped, certainly.

  • fflambeau says:

    Very bad idea for the Dude.

    • Concertgebouw79 says:


      • fflambeau says:

        Hi Concertgebouw,

        Bad for the Dude because: 1) he is not French and will never be accepted there (different from not speaking French); 2) LA pays more and 3) LA is more innovative. 4) LA has lots of Spanish speakers, Paris?

  • Gustavo says:

    Carmen, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess,, Carmen, West Side Story, Candide, Carmen, West Side Story, Candide, West Side Story, Porgy and Bess

    Mahler’s 2nd


  • Gustavo says:

    Angela Merkel is already committed to saving the Bayreuther Festspiele after stepping down as chancellor.

  • MacroV says:

    I always enjoy the nattering nabobs of nega-Dudity here on SD. So he’s been employed for a decade at a top American orchestras (arguably its most innovative and consequential one), is a regular and sought-after guest at the two super-A-list orchestras (Berlin and Vienna) whose players decide who conducts them and are not particularly inclined to work with hacks with good PR teams. And every other A-list orchestra and opera house is more than happy to book him if he’s ever available outside of this. But by all means, share with them what YOU know about his (in)abilities.

  • pitted prunes says:

    Didn’t Neef ruin Toronto with his overspending on names? Oh yea, to up his own profile? Aha, good call.

    Especially when his Paris house is 40M in debt.

    At least they are paired well.

    Dumb and Dumber.

  • Janet Kirkland says:

    Bravo dudamel a unique talent and my favorite conductor.he actually kinda reminds me of king Louis 14th , your king Paris

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    The major problem with opera isn’t conductors and orchestras. The greater problem is a shortage of truly good singers, and weird, ‘Eurotrash’ productions. Let’s stop focusing on who’s waving the stick all the time.

    • MacroV says:

      Yes, we should all harken back to the days when we could would walk into the MET on an off night and hear Tosca with Mahler conducting Caruso, Leontyne Price, and Chaliapin.

  • Save the MET says:

    There was a time when conductors were happy to take one job and guest conduct. They spent time building their orchestras and creating a rapport that brought their orchestras to peak efficiency. To burn off a little steam now and again they would take guest conducting gigs. Watch the LA Philharmonic slip and the Paris Opera Orchestra lapse into a malaise, between the orchestras, his commute and his endless guest conducting gigs, no time for rehearsals and quality performances. LA would be smart to dump him and move on, his contract is over in 2022.

  • Peter says:

    Wow a lot of snobs on this thread…Bitter much?

  • E says:

    Can anyone say who was on the short list of possible candidates?

  • G.G. says:

    The Parismatch magazine is already saying he got the position. The interesting is the last line as: ” A l’Opéra de Paris c’est une autre guerre des étoiles qui l’attend.”

    It sounds like french humor about a war of egos that is about to start in the house. Let’s see the following chapters of this novel. It isn’t a safe journey guarantee for sure for any side.