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Music

New York's Met Opera names Nezet-Seguin as new music director

Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin has been chosen to replace outgoing music director James Levine at New York's Metropolitan Opera. The Montreal native called it the "fulfillment of a lifelong dream."

New York's Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday that it had named Canadian conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin as its new music director, taking over the role from longtime director James Levine.

"Becoming the music director of the Metropolitan Opera is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me," Nezet-Seguin said in a statement. He first came to the Met as a guest conductor for the 2009 production of "Carmen."

"I am truly honored and humbled by the opportunity to succeed the legendary James Levine and to work with the extraordinary orchestra, chorus and staff of what I believe is the greatest opera company in the world."

Nezet-Seguin also announced Thursday that he had renewed his contract as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra until 2026.

The 41-year-old Montreal native is set to start as interim director at the Met for the 2017-2018 season, directing two operas per season, before fully taking over the role in 2020. He has been music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2012, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008. He has also led the Orchestre Metropolitain in Montreal as artistic director and principal conductor since 2000.

After serving 40 years at one of the world's most prominent operas, the 72-year-old Levine announced in April that he would step down after the current season, citing health reasons. He will stay with the Met as music director emeritus, and continue his work with the Met's young talent development program.

cmk/eg (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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