The conductor Robert Spano, who received acclaim as a champion of up to date music throughout his twenty years on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will function Washington National Opera’s subsequent music director, the corporate introduced on Tuesday.
Spano, 62, will turn out to be music director designate successfully instantly and start a three-year time period with the corporate in 2025, succeeding Philippe Auguin, who stepped down in 2018 after his contract was not renewed.
Spano, who serves as music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Texas, mentioned in an interview that he had been desperate to do extra opera since leaving his submit as music director in Atlanta in 2021. He mentioned that he needed to “carry opera into the future” and that he deliberate to advertise modern works, as he did in Atlanta.
“New work and masterpieces — they go hand in hand,” he mentioned. “I’ve lived my life in music feeling like the works of living composers inform our understanding of the works of the past. They keep reinvigorating our understanding of these masterpieces.”
Timothy O’Leary, the overall director of Washington National Opera, mentioned in an interview that he was impressed by Spano’s expertise and contemporary perspective on opera.
“He’s got this track record of conducting the major standard works in the opera repertoire,” he mentioned, “but he’s also really identified with championing new music and the next generation of creators.”
The seek for music director started in 2018 however dragged on partly due to the pandemic. In the interim, the corporate has relied on Evan Rogister, its principal conductor. He will step down on the finish of the 2024-25 season, the corporate mentioned on Tuesday, shortly earlier than Spano’s time period begins.
Spano rose to the highest of the listing in Washington after making his firm debut in 2022 in “Written in Stone,” a commissioning mission that featured brief operas by modern composers, together with Carlos Simon, Huang Ruo, Kamala Sankaram and Jason Moran.
O’Leary mentioned the corporate felt an “instant bond” with Spano throughout these rehearsals and performances.
“Part of why it was such a success,” O’Leary added, “was because of his incredible capabilities as a conductor, a technician but also an interpreter of new material.”
While Spano has by no means led a significant opera firm, he has received reward for his work as a visitor conductor. In 2018, he made his debut on the Metropolitan Opera, main a manufacturing of Nico Muhly’s “Marnie.”
The critic Anthony Tommasini, writing in The New York Times, mentioned that Muhly’s rating “could not have had a better advocate than the conductor Robert Spano, making an absurdly belated Met debut at 57.”
“He highlighted intriguing details, brought out myriad colorings, kept the pacing sure and never covered the singers,” Tommasini wrote. “Where has he been?”
Spano will open the season at Washington National Opera this fall, main Beethoven’s “Fidelio.” The manufacturing is directed by the corporate’s creative director, Francesca Zambello, and options the soprano Sinead Campbell Wallace, the tenor Jamez McCorkle, the bass-baritone Derek Welton and the bass David Leigh.
Spano mentioned he was optimistic about the way forward for opera, regardless of latest challenges. Many corporations, together with the Washington one, have struggled to get audiences to return for the reason that pandemic.
His hope, he mentioned, is “that we’re making great opera happen that attracts people to want to experience it, by that recognition that we’re in a living tradition, and not a dead one.”