The Royal Opera House has confirmed that Antonio Pappano will continue as Music Director of The Royal Opera until the end of the 2023/24 Season, after which he will join the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) as Chief Conductor Designate in their 23/24 Season, assuming full responsibility as Chief Conductor in September 2024.
Pappano takes over from Simon Rattle at the LSO, who has applied for German citizenship and intends to make his post-Brexit base in Berlin where his family lives. Rattle will take over at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich.
Over the last twenty years the ROH has become my family, my home and my heart. The richness and depth of my relationship with UK audiences is hugely important to me and I am thrilled to be able to continue this with the LSO. I am excited to embrace future projects with friends and colleagues at the ROH over the next three seasons and I look forward to continuing our close and wonderful association over the many years ahead.
Pappano, 61, has been at Covent Garden since 2002, which makes him the opera house's longest-serving music director. During this time he has also been music director of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome.
Over the next three seasons at the Royal Opera House, he will conduct new productions of Rigoletto and Samson et Dalila, and revivals of The Marriage of Figaro, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in 2021/22. Then there is new cycle of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Barrie Kosky. The new Ring cycle will begin with Das Rheingold in September 2023.
The Opera House's Chief Executive Alex Beard said:
I am delighted that Tony has decided to make the UK his long-term musical base, continuing his commitment to enhancing musical life in London and ensuring his close relationship with UK-wide audiences is ongoing. This is fantastic news for London as we collectively rebuild the arts following the pandemic. I look forward to the next three Seasons of remarkable music-making together at Covent Garden, Tony's operatic home, and to many years of close friendship and association.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.