Gustavo Dudamel has not wanted to prolong the agony: the demands of the Paris Opera towards its musical director consume more time than the valued Venezuelan maestro would like, which prevents him from being with his family. Just two years ago he signed a contract for six seasons with the French Coliseum, a responsibility that he combined with the ownership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
During this time, he decided to assume the podium position of the New York Philharmonic from 2025, with a view to leaving the activity that ties him to the US West Coast. But what seemed like a solution to reduce the duration of transoceanic trips and combine the institutions in Europe and North America in a more bearable way does not seem to have been enough.
A statement from the Parisian Coliseum echoes Dudamel's reasons for making this decision: "It is with a heavy heart, and after careful consideration, that I announce my resignation from the position of musical director of the Paris Opera in order to spend more time with my family." "It has been a privilege to share such beautiful moments with the orchestra, choir and artistic team of the Paris Opera these past two seasons." And he also alleges that "I have no other projects than to be with mine. I am deeply grateful to them for their support in my goal of growing and improving myself."
The strength of the unions in the neighboring country as well as the strict compliance with the contract to which the institution forced the artist - which even prefixed his presence in auditions with singers, regardless of how far away he was from Paris - could have something to do with it. with his drastic resignation, because at 42 years old, Dudamel has an international agenda that is not exactly meager.
In two years he will have directed a few titles at La Bastille: Turandot (Puccini), Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Tosca (Puccini), Tristan und Isolde (Wagner, with the legendary video staging by Bill Viola), and the new production that the house has raised from Nixon in China (John Adams). This was the sign that Dudamel fulfilled his promise to inject some vitality into a century-old institution, alternating his taste between the classics and contemporary sounds.
"Nixon's recent success in China clearly illustrates why Gustavo Dudamel is an immense musician," said Alexander Neef, mayor of the French lyrical coliseum, about the director whom France awarded last September with the Order of Arts and Letters. “His passion for him and his immense talent have left us a lot in our house repertoire. He was able to establish a special relationship with the musicians of the orchestra, the choir artists, the singers and artistic teams, relationships marked by mutual respect and the desire to create together the most beautiful performances”, he assures.
The Paris Opera will soon announce what it plans to do with Dudamel's projects planned for the 2023-2024 season. His future engagements include Lohengrin and The Exterminating Angel.
Born in Barquisimeto, Gustavo Dudamel has been married for six years to the Spanish actress María Valverde, whom he met during the filming of Libertador, a film in which he played the protagonist's wife, while the prestigious musician made the soundtrack of the feature film a reality. . They married discreetly in Los Angeles in 2017 and since then they have combined their residence in Los Angeles, with the son from the previous marriage to the dancer and journalist Eloísa Maturén, with the family relationship that the actress has in Madrid.