Artist of the Week: Antonio Pappano

British Conductor Returns to the Met After 24 Years

By Francisco Salazar

On Oct. 26, 2021, the Metropolitan Opera will revive a production of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” for the first time in seven years. The production will mark the return of Lise Davidsen in a role debut, Michael Volle in a signature role, and Klaus Florian Vogt, one of the greatest Wagnerians of his generation. But perhaps what makes this production all the more special is the return of Sir. Antonio Pappano to the Met podium. 

Pappano made his Met debut in 1997 conducting “Eugene Onegin.” After that, he never returned. Now, 24 years later the conductor will lead Wagner’s comedy, a piece he called, “life-enhancing. Although you don’t guffaw when you’re watching this opera, it is a comic opera, and it does have a lightness, a spring in its step, that I find is physically and musically very healthy.”

So what took so long to return to the Met? Pappano admits he was forced to cancel with the company a few years back and felt it was time to pay it back to Peter Gelb and the Met chorus and orchestra. He also noted that he has not conducted any opera outside the Royal Opera House since he took the post of Music Director back in  2002.

For those who will not be in New York, the conductor returns to the Royal Opera House this season for productions of “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” He will also conduct “Turandot” for the first time with Jonas Kaufmann and Sondra Radvanovsky in a new recording for Warner Classics. In a few years, he will also take on a new Ring Cycle at the Royal Opera and will also become the new Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, leaving his post at the Royal Opera.


Pappano has a huge discography so for the purposes of “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,” we recommend you listen to the conductor’s “Tristan und Isolde” and “Wagner: Love Duets.”

Here are some other Wagnerian works he has conducted.


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