Candidate Nelsons?

Cast and conductor for Rusalka in Munich in June 2017

By ANDREW POWELL
Published: June 16, 2017

MUNICH — An odd thing happened during the curtain calls last evening after a taut, riveting Rusalka here at Bavarian State Opera. The orchestra players made various signs of approval for the cast members’ work, as is customary, and then essentially none for the conductor (and leading lady’s husband). The coolness was the more noteworthy given that Andris Nelsons was making his company debut. Cheers from the house reflected the strength of the performance.

Nelsons is im Gespräch for Kirill Petrenko’s job, which officially becomes vacant on Sept. 1, 2020, although Petrenko will maintain a substantial guest-conducting presence through the season that starts on that date. The board of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2015 replaced its one-year-old agreement with the Latvian maestro with one effective 2014 to 2022. This has an automatic-extension, or “evergreen,” clause that continues its effect for a defined period unless it is canceled within a stated time. Months after signing it, Nelsons moved with his wife and daughter to Munich’s Bogenhausen district, within walking distance of BStO, Germany’s largest opera company. He starts this fall in a second orchestra job, in Leipzig, three hours north of here by train. It was in opera that Nelsons launched his career, in 2003 in his native Riga.

Pictured from the Dvořák cast are: Ulrich Reß, Nelsons, Dmytro Popov (a rich-toned Princ), Kristine Opolais (still an endearing Rusalka), Helena Zubanovich (a Ježibaba voiced to peel the silk off the walls), Alyona Abramowa, Günther Groissböck (the almighty Vodník) and Nadia Krasteva (the enticing Cizí Kněžna); front: Rachael Wilson, Tara Erraught and Evgeniya Sotnikova.

Photo © Bayerische Staatsoper

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