The Paris Opera and its General Manager Alexander Neef, are delighted to announce the arrival of Gustavo Dudamel as Music Director for six seasons as of 1 August 2021.
« I am extremely happy that Gustavo Dudamel has accepted my invitation to join the Paris Opera as Music Director. He is one of the world’s most talented and prestigious conductors. I was drawn from the outset to this exceptional conductor who has been fascinated by the world of opera since his early childhood and has conducted numerous operatic works with such musical insight. Over the past ten years, I have had the good fortune to hear him in the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy at the helm of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as in works by John Adams and more recently in Verdi’s Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Liceu in Barcelona. I was won over by his conducting, as were his audiences. In the course of our numerous exchanges, I realised the extent to which he was the one who could share and transmit his love of opera to the widest possible audience. His appointment reflects our determination to reach out and commit ourselves to an ambitious project that will continue to enhance the reputation of our institution through opera and ballet productions, along with symphony concerts not only in our theatres, but elsewhere, in a repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary. His proven commitment to artistic and educational projects and his conviction that culture should be accessible to all will provide new momentum and accompany us in our mission. »
« From the first downbeat, my experience with the artists of the Paris Opera was simply magnificent. The immediate sensation at that decisive encounter - feelings of trust, connection, musicality, and a shared vision -were born from this first meeting in 2017. The exceptional level of the musicians of the Orchestra and the artists of the Chorus and the strong bond that we were able to weave together during the rehearsals and the performances of La Bohème are what made me accept Alexander Neef’s proposal. The orchestra is a microcosm for society, with many people playing different parts towards one common creative goal. The opera is an entire universe unto itself, containing the full multitude of what the human spirit is capable of creating. Alongside my continued commitment to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and to the beloved musicians of El Sistema in Venezuela and around the world, I want to devote, for at least the next 6 seasons, all my energy toward creating extraordinary musical moments for our audiences, and to make the Paris Opera ever more connected to the soul of the city and country that surrounds it. »
Gustavo Dudamel has always been driven by the belief that music has the
power to transform lives and to inspire and change the world. Thanks to his
presence on the podium and his unwavering commitment to arts education, he
has introduced classical music to new audiences around the world and helped
bring access to the arts to marginalized populations. In 2012, the musical
experiences and mentors of Dudamel’s childhood moved him to create the
Dudamel Foundation, a charity with the goal of promoting access to music as a
human right and catalyst for learning, integration, and social change.
He has conducted more than 30 opera productions - staged, semi-staged and in concert - on major international opera stages, including 5 at La Scala Milan and 13 in Los Angeles with the LA Phil and the LA Opera, in a repertoire ranging from Così fan tutte to Carmen, from Otello to Tannhäuser, from West Side Story to contemporary operas by composers such as John Adams and Oliver Knussen. He made his Paris Opera debut with La Bohème in 2017.
Since 2009, Gustavo Dudamel has been Music and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At the head of the orchestra, he has conducted numerous creations by John Adams, Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner, Arvo Pärt, Sofia Gubaidulina, Kaija Saariaho, Gabriela Ortiz, Arturo Márquez and Esteban Benzecry. Inspired by the philosophy of the El Sistema programme, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has expanded its community outreach programme, most notably with the creation of the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) in 2007. In the 2020/2021 season, YOLA is opening its own facility in Inglewood: The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center, designed by architect Frank Gehry.
Gustavo Dudamel has recorded numerous albums and DVDs, winning three Grammy Awards, most recently this year in the Best Classical Orchestral Performance category for his recording of the complete symphonies of Charles Ives. In 2009, he was named Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters. In 2019, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, joining such musical celebrities as Leonard Bernstein, Duke Ellington and Arturo Toscanini. Gustavo Dudamel was born in 1981 in Barquisimeto (Venezuela). He graduated from the Venezuelan educational programme El Sistema, founded in 1975 on the initiative of José Antonio Abreu and promoting social development through music. At the age of 18, he was appointed Music Director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. In 2004, he won the first Gustav Mahler Conductors’ Competition initiated by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and his career took off internationally. From 2007 to 2012 he was the Music Director of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Gustavo Dudamel now lives in Los Angeles and Madrid and considers Venezuela, the United States and Spain as his three homes - soon to be joined by France.