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Conductor Gustavo Dudamel Resigns from Paris Opéra

Dudamel has resigned from his position as music director of the opera company, despite four years remaining on his contract


Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, 42, was contracted as music director of the Paris Opéra until the conclusion of the 2026/27 season, which was to coincide nicely with the beginning of his new appointment at the New York Philharmonic.

The two-year tenure means that Dudamel will hold the record for the shortest-lived music directorship in the history of the Paris Opéra. In recent memory, Philippe Jordan held the post for twelve years, while James Conlon stayed for a decade.

Dudamel has been well-received by Parisian audiences, spearheading acclaimed performances of John Adams's Nixon in China and a revival production of Tristan und Isolde. His work in the city was recently acknowledged when President Emmanuel Macron admitted him to the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

It is unclear whether Dudamel will fulfill next season's engagements, which were to include a production of Thomas Adès's 2016 opera The Exterminating Angel.

"It is with a heavy heart, and after long consideration, that I announce my resignation as music director of the Paris Opéra in order to spend more time with my family,” Dudamel said in a statement.

"I have no plans other than to be with my loved ones, to whom I am deeply grateful for helping me to continue to be strong in my resolve to grow and remain challenged, both personally and artistically, each and every day," he added.

"He was able to forge a special relationship with the musicians of the orchestra, the artists of the chorus, the singers and the artistic teams, a relationship marked by mutual respect and the desire to create the most beautiful performances together," said Alexander Neef, the general director of the Paris Opéra.

"Gustavo Dudamel is an immense musician. I express my deep gratitude to him for the work accomplished during his tenure, and I fully respect his decision."


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