03 May 2005

Maestro in Exile

Muti returns to Milan

Marion Lignana Rosenberg is keeping us very abreast of the current opera surrounding the dashing but homeless maestro Riccardo Muti, recently ousted dictator of La Scala. (MLR is Sieglinde's current favorite blogger.)

Do we want Muti in NYC? Local opera lovers selfishly say YES. The easiest route would be to install him as music director of the New York Philharmonic after Lorin Maazel's contract expires in 2009. There, he'd likely program more concert performances of opera over at Avery Fisher (good for opera, bad for the rest of the classical world). A future at the Met is uncertain: as music director of the Philharmonic, he'd "visit" our opera house only under two scenarios: either he's extended a title akin to Valery Gergiev's position as "Principal Guest Conductor," or a major new production (or even a Met premiere) of an Italian work is mounted and he's given carte blanche (with respect to singers and production team). But that's two steps ahead. In the meantime, NYC loves megalomaniacs; opera loves megalomaniacs; Muti will be a welcome addition to our drama.