Yannick Nézet-Séguin to join Met ahead of schedule

Yannick Nézet-Séguin will take up his role as Metropolitan Opera’s next music director in September 2018, two years earlier than originally planned. To do this, the Canadian conductor has cleared some guest conducting weeks from his 2018-19 and 2019-20 schedules.

Nézet-Séguin will now conduct three operas and two Met Orchestra concerts in both 2018-19 and 2019-20. Originally, he was only scheduled to conduct two operas in total during that period. From 2020-21, Nézet-Séguin will conduct a minimum of five operas per season.

“It is wonderful for the entire company that Yannick will assume his duties two seasons ahead of schedule,” said Met general manager Peter Gelb. “The orchestra loves him, the chorus loves him, everyone in the building loves him. He is a truly great artist under whom the Met will only thrive.”

In other news, the Met has announced that Nézet-Séguin’s position will be funded by a USD15m (€12m) gift from the Neubauer Family Foundation. His role will now be referred to as the ‘Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer music director’.

Commented Nézet-Séguin: “I have worked with the Neubauers for many years in Philadelphia and know how committed they are to supporting the arts. Their extraordinary generosity for the work of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Met makes this exciting moment even more humbling for me.”

As for the Met’s 2018-19 season, highlights are a revival of Robert Lepage’s Ring Cycle; a new production of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila by Darko Tresnjak; Nézet-Séguin conducting La Traviata; and Anna Netrebko singing the title role in Verdi’s Aida.