James Conlon extends contract as Music Director of LA Opera through 2025

LA Opera announced the extension of Music Director James Conlon’s contract through the end of the 2024-25 season, which will mark his 19th season with the company.

“I am extremely happy to continue my collaboration with all of the forces of Los Angeles Opera,” said James Conlon. “I am grateful for the close working relationship to the LA Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the music staff, and stage team, Christopher Koelsch, the entire administration, and Board of Directors. As we gradually emerge from these many months of closure during the pandemic, I feel I could not have better colleagues throughout the opera company. Their support, and that of our public, gives me great hope for our continued mission of keeping opera thriving in today’s world.

”Since commencing his tenure in 2006, Mr. Conlon has conducted 404 performances with the company, leading 62 different operas including two world premieres, two U.S. premieres, and 29 company premieres. He has conducted numerous landmark productions for the company, including the 2010 Ring cycle, the 2013 Britten centenary festival, the 2015 “Figaro Trilogy,” and the multi-year Recovered Voices project (devoted to presenting the works of composers suppressed by the Nazis). His recordings of LA Opera productions have received four Grammy® Awards, two each for John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

In addition to raising the profile of the LA Opera Orchestra, Mr. Conlon has become a familiar and much admired presence in the LA community as a champion of public education, leading enormously popular pre-performance talks and collaborating frequently with local universities, museums, performing arts organizations, and other cultural institutions. Through his podcasts and his writings, he has been an active presence on the LA Opera website throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His 2021-22 season with LA Opera is bookended by Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Aida; to date, he has conducted more than 500 lifetime performances of that composer’s operas.

“We’re looking at our long-awaited resumption of full-scale productions as an opportunity not just to return to the way things were but to refine and expand our rich artistic profile,” said LA Opera President and CEO Christopher Koelsch. “I am truly honored to continue our long, happy, and artistically fruitful collaboration with James Conlon, who has made such an incredible and indelible impact on the company and our community.”

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