James Conlon Extends LA Opera Contract Through 2020-21

By David Salazar

The Los Angeles Opera will continue to have James Conlon as its music director through 2020-21.

The announcement was made on Friday according to General Director Plácido Domingo.

Conlon joined the company in 2006 and has conducted a whopping 314 performances with the company and 50 operas overall. His first was Verdi’s “La Traviata” and his latest will be Mozart’s “The Abduction of Seraglio.” He is also slated to conduct “Salome” and “Tosca” this season with the company.

In 2010 he conducted the company’s first performances of Wagner’s complete “Der Ring des Nibelungen” and in 2013 he featured a celebration for Benjamin Britten’s 100th Birthday. He was also the conductor of Domingo’s 40th Anniversary Gala.

“The astounding energy and infectious enthusiasm that he brings to his work has made him a beloved figure for our audiences,” Domingo said in a statement according to the LA Times. “Thanks to his prodigious musical talents, our magnificent orchestra sounds better and better every season. I myself have taken great pride in the numerous musical partnerships that James and I have shared — most recently in Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ earlier this season — and I look forward to many more such collaborations.”

Conlon’s career broke out after a 1974 debut with the New York Philharmonic  and since then he has worked with many of the great orchestras and opera companies around the world. He has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera,  Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Teatro del Opera di Roma

Conlon’s previous contract extension with the company came in 2013, keeping him in Los Angeles through 2017-18.