Tonight, when Lorin Maazel, the music director of the New York Philharmonic, lifts his wand to conducts the opening of Wagner’s Walküre, it will be his first appearance at the Met since January 1963 — when he was just 32 years old. That was “when top tickets were $11 instead of $375, Robert F. Wagner was mayor, and the Met was still on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets,” writes Daniel J. Wakin of the New York Times.
For a symphony conductor so steeped in opera, Mr. Maazel’s absence from the Met has been an oddity. He has run two opera houses, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Vienna State Opera; is now music director of the opera house in Valencia, Spain; has led 10 new productions at La Scala in Milan; and has conducted hundreds of other opera performances in houses around the world.
But his highest-profile jobs have been running orchestras, like those of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and, for the last six seasons, New York.
“I always considered myself a symphony conductor who would once in a while conduct opera,” Mr. Maazel said in an interview last week. “But that once-in-a-while became habit forming. It’s like a drug. The theater’s a wonderful place.”
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