Rhinegold Photo credit: Peter Hundert

Josephine Miles

Royal Swedish Opera appoints new music director

5:29, 20th January 2020

Alan Gilbert has been named as music director of Royal Swedish Opera

The American conductor will take up the position in spring 2021, combining it with his current role as chief conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, a post he has held since September 2019. Gilbert was previously music director of the New York Philharmonic and chief conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Gilbert’s opera credentials include productions at La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Zürich Opera, Semperoper Dresden and Santa Fe Opera, where he was music director from 2003 to 2006.

He has worked with Royal Swedish Opera since 2012, conducting productions of Wagner’s Lohengrin and Strauss’s Rosenkavalier. This spring, he will conduct the company’s revival of Puccini’s Fanciulla del West, starring Malin Byström, and his inaugural production as music director will be Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in spring 2021.

Dutch conductor Lawrence Renes served as chief conductor at Royal Swedish Opera from 2012 to 2017, but the post of music director has remained vacant for some time.

Birgitta Svendén, CEO and artistic director of Royal Swedish Opera, said: ‘It is a major achievement for us, indeed a critical milestone, to bring a musician of Alan’s extraordinary stature and international reputation to our company. His leadership will no doubt enable us to take our company to the next level in terms of artistic breadth and excellence. With his long personal history in the city, and deep connection to our company, Alan will not only be our music director but a member of the “family”.’

Gilbert added: ‘The experiences I have had working with this wonderful company, with its fabulous singers and orchestra, have been unfailingly joyous and memorable, so I am happy to be looking forward to many more. It is of course particularly meaningful for me, to be coming back to such a musically vibrant situation in my adopted hometown.’

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