Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin Steps Down For a Month 

The music director of the Met Opera and Philadelphia Orchestra will be taking a brief 4-week sabbatical from conducting beginning on December 19, 2021

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(Photo credit: Jan Regan/The Philadelphia)

 

As reported by the New York Times, the Met announced that Nézet-Séguin, 46, will not be directing their ensemble during this time. The Canadian conductor added that the break will allow him to “re-energize as [they] return in the new year with more inspiring art.”

As a result, Nézet-Séguin will no longer be conducting Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” with the Met, which was scheduled for January and April next year. Conductors Daniele Rustioni and James Gaffigan will be directing in his place.

Gaffigan is the Music Director of Spain’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía and Rustioni is Principal Conductor of France’s Opéra National de Lyon. The latter was already scheduled to conduct the Met’s Bartlett Sher production for Verdi’s “Rigoletto” starting at the end of this month. 

The Philadelphia Orchestra also announced that conductor Xian Zhang will be replacing Nézet-Séguin’s scheduled concerts from December onwards. Zhang was the first female conductor to hold a titled role with a BBC Orchestra and is currently the music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Despite the sabbatical, Nézet-Séguin will still be leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in Carnegie Hall on January 11, 2022, and in two subsequent weeks of subscription concerts, according to NY Times. 

Known for his busy schedule, Nézet-Séguin recently led the Met premieres of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up In My Bones” and Matthew Aucoin’s “Eurydice.” 

After his sabbatical, he will return for the Met’s production of Verdi’s "Don Carlos," and concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Up until his break, he will be conducting Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Met.