I’m very excited to have Maestro James Conlon on my show this week! He’s conducted all over the world, is a multi-Grammy winner, a scholar and gentleman. Work, family, and Maria Callas are a few of the things we talked about- I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did!
Verdi’s Macbeth launches James Conlon’s 10th anniversary season as Music Director of LA Opera. After a decade on the podium in Los Angeles, critics are still praising his operatic interpretations:
“I lay all the glory for this performance at the feet of Music Director James Conlon. The LA Opera Orchestra ripped into this score with a ferocity and a technical skill that I have never heard before in an Verdi piece of this era. ” —Patrick Mack, Parterre Box
“Since his appointment in 2006, Conlon has re-forged the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra into a world-class ensemble.”—Jim Farber, L.A. Daily News
“James Conlon has been L.A. Opera’s Music Director for ten years and, instead of settling into routine, seems to get better every season. In Macbeth, Conlon showed he had the old-school style and flare of early Verdi experts like Lamberto Gardelli or Ettore Panizza (or even that vastly underrated but beloved Nello Santi). Staggering power and drama were unleashed from maestro Conlon’s baton. From the perfectly molded phrases and shimmering strings in the overture to the thundering apotheosis of the final chorus, the orchestral pit of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion rarely sounded this good.” —Truman C. Wang, Classical Voice
Read more reviews of Macbeth here.
Maestro James Conlon during a rehearsal for Macbeth (2016)
As an addendum to my essay “Why Verdi’s Macbeth Is Important,” I want to add a very personal note about why this opera, which has been with me for my entire professional life, has been so important to me.