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James Conlon extends contract with L.A. Opera through 2012-13 season

November 15, 2010 |  2:20 pm


Conductor James Conlon will be staying on as music director of the Los Angeles Opera at least through the end of the 2012-13 season, the company said Monday. His contract was set to expire at the end of the current 2010-11 season. Conlon joined L.A. Opera in fall 2006, succeeding conductor Kent Nagano.

As music director, Conlon, 60, has helped to raise the profile of L.A. Opera to an international level. He has championed the music of Richard Wagner -- spearheading the company's first-ever production of the entire "Ring" cycle last season -- while also inaugurating the Recovered Voices series, which spotlights music by composers whose careers suffered under the Third Reich.

To date, Conlon has led 23 different operas at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, according to the company. This month, he will conduct productions of Wagner's "Lohengrin" and Verdi's "Rigoletto." He will return to the podium in 2011 to lead productions of Rossini's "Il Turco in Italia" and Britten's "The Turn of the Screw."

A native New Yorker and Juilliard alumnus, Conlon spent much of his career in Europe where he held top positions with the Cologne Opera in Germany and the Opéra National de Paris. He currently serves as music director of the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the Cincinnati May Festival, in addition to his duties in L.A.

In September, tenor Plácido Domingo renewed his contract as general director with L.A. Opera, also through 2013.

-- David Ng

Photo: James Conlon, with his wife, Jennifer, backstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times


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