Nelsons turns back on Tosca

Andris Nelsons is the latest major name to pull out of the Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming production of Tosca. The new staging, directed by David McVicar, is due to open on 31 December.

Nelsons is the third star to leave the opera, following tenor Jonas Kaufmann and soprano Kristine Opolais. Kaufmann said he wanted to spend more time with his family while Opolais – who is married to Nelsons – cited ‘personal reasons’. Kaufmann has been replaced by Vittorio Grigolo and Opolais by Sonya Yoncheva.

No reason was given for Nelsons’ departure, although his wife’s withdrawal and his already busy schedule means the announcement was expected by some. Nelsons will be replaced by Met music director emeritus James Levine.

The new Tosca has promised a return to the style of Franco Zeffirelli’s much-loved production, which debuted in 1985. The Met’s more recent Tosca, created by Luc Bondy, has proved unpopular with some sections of the Met audience and was booed on its opening night in 2009.

Nelsons is currently music director at Boston Symphony Orchestra, and takes up the role of music director at Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra at the start of the 2017-18 season.