In recent years , the brilliantly gifted French-Canadian conductor Yannick-Nezet-Seguin , 41 , has become one of the most acclaimed and sought after conductors in the world , and has been music director of the world famous Philadelphia orchestra since
2012 . And he has just been chosen to step into another highly prestigious position as music director of the Metropolitan opera , succeeding the eminent but now ailing James Levine , who will remain as music director emeritus .
These are two enormous responsibilities , and the question being asking by many leading music critics and others is can he manage to devote his time and energy to both jobs without spreading himself too thin ? Only time will tell , but the mood at the
troubled giant of American opera is optimistic , as it has managed to engage a man of enormous talent and charisma for this colossal job .
Nezet-Seguin had been been seen as the most likely conductor to succeed Levine for some time in the opera world , as he had already conducted several operas there to enormous critical and audience acclaim and is not only highly respected but well liked by the Met's magnificent orchestra, one of the finest in the world . The Montreal native is also currently music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic in the Netherlands, another esteemed orchestra and of Montreal's Metropolitan orchestra and is principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic .
Because of his extremely busy schedule , Nezet-Seguin will not officially take over his position at the Met until 2020 , but he will be conducting at least two operas per season until he does and will be closely involved with planning and decision making
there . Many eminent conductors in our time have divided their time between two or more positions , so what Nezet-Seguin is doing is nothing new . It's impossible for one conductor to lead seven performances a week from September through May at the Met of as many as 25 different operas by a wide variety of composers , or to conduct a different orchestra program every week of a major orchestra such as the Philadelphia . In the past, the seasons of opera companies and orchestras were not nearly as long as they are today , so it is necessary to have a wide variety of guest conductors .
Nezet-Seguin has also been making recordings ,most taken from live performances for the prestigious Deutsche Gramophone label in Philadelphia, Rotterdam and elsewhere , including a recording of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with the Philadelphians , and a series of Mozart operas recorded in Europe using the renowned Chamber Orchestra of Europe with some of today's leading opera singers .
Filling the shoes of James Levine, who has devoted more than 40 years to the Metropolitan opera and achieved so much, will be no easy task . Levine also served for some time as music director of the Boston symphony and previously the Munich Philharmonic , but failing health , including severe back trouble , sciatica, arm tremor , an operation to remove a cancerous kidney , accidents and Parkinson's disease have taken their toll on the revered maestro , now turning 73 .
The choice of operas has to be done several years in advance at the Met, and some of its future repertoire is already known, so it remains to be seen which operas will be done under Nezet-Seguin beyond this time . Everyone is hoping for the Met's repertoire to remain as varied and interesting as it has been in recent years , and many critics are hoping for the Met to devote more of its time to new or recent operas than it has been . But for the time being, things are looking up for the Metropolitan opera .