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(Photo credit: Chris Lee)

Paris' Theatre National de l’Opera Comique Names New Music Director

Conductor Louis Langrée was given the five year role by the French President Emmanuel Macron and Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin


Langrée, 60, will begin his tenure with Opéra Comique in his native France on November 1, 2021. He will succeed Olivier Mantei, who is heading to the Philharmonie de Paris.

Langrée plans to focus on operatic conducting and programming, revisit many operatic masterpieces, and expand the operatic repertoire by including new works. Operas programmed include Bizet’s “Carmen,” Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment,” Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann,” and Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande.”

In addition, new programs for young singers and conductors will be developed to bridge careers between the conservatory and professional life.

"I love this “house”, its history, its repertoire, its teams, its architecture, its ideal dimensions, its intimacy, its perfect acoustics, where you can listen and feel all the nuances between silence, murmur, and cry, tears and enjoyment, moods and humour, tragedy and gaiety," Langrée said. "I like that it is a national opera, an Opera of the Republic, therefore a theatre which belongs to all of us; it’s up to me to take care of it now, and share essential things in it, through music and theatre."

Langrée, who has been the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO)  since 2013, will not renew his contract when it expires during the 2023-24 season. His new position in Paris will not conflict with his three remaining seasons with the CSO.

He also has previously served as Music Director of Opéra National de Lyon, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Orchestre de Picardie.

In the upcoming 2021-22 season, he will be making his debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington. In addition to receiving France's Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Langrée currently serves as the Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York.

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