According to the press release reproduced below, Nicola Luisotti (pictured left, photograph by John Martin) is the new Music Director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, effective immediately. Luisotti is already Music Director of San Francisco Opera and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
February 6, 2012 -- Nicola Luisotti has been appointed Music Director of Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, effective immediately. The news was announced over the weekend by General Director Rosanna Purchia and the Board of Directors of the Teatro di San Carlo Foundation following a meeting where the unanimous decision was taken. Maestro Luisotti succeeds former Principal Conductor Maurizio Benini and Music Director Jeffrey Tate. Born and raised in Tuscany, the 50-year old Luisotti is currently Music Director of San Francisco Opera and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tokyo Philharmonic.
The oldest theater in Europe and one of Italy’s most prestigious opera houses, Teatro di San Carlo is renowned not only for its beauty but for its legendary acoustics. Founded in 1737, many of opera’s most famous composers spent significant time at the theatre, including Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi. In 2010, the theater was reopened after an important period of restoration where the magnificent five-level horseshoe of boxes which are upholstered in red and decorated in gold leaf, frescoed ceiling and beautifully painted stage curtain were renewed to their original glory.
Full details of the appointment will be announced at an official ceremony and press conference on March 7th when Maestro Luisotti will be at San Carlo to begin rehearsals for Verdi’s I Masnadieri, in a production directed by Gabriele Lavia.
“I have spent a good deal of time abroad in the last ten years of my career. My heart fills with joy at the thought of spending so much more time in my home country with such a prestigious appointment,” said Maestro Luisotti speaking from Philadelphia where he is leading concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “And the joy is even greater when I think of how deeply this Theatre was influenced, in recent years, by the presence of a man such as Riccardo Muti, with whom I had the honor of working at La Scala.”
General Director Rosanna Purchia commented, “Nicola is young and enthusiastic and has had a bright career that took him to the most important theatres in the world, from Covent Garden to the Met, from La Scala to our San Carlo. In the United States he is recognized as one of the best interpreters of Italian opera. With his appointment, we want the San Carlo to aim higher and higher.”
Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris, the foundation president, expressed his satisfaction: “We chose Luisotti because he is a high profile conductor, young, Italian…and this is a source of great pride for us. We are sure he will contribute to the success of this great theatre both in Italy and the rest of the world.”
"We at San Francisco Opera are thrilled that Nicola Luisotti has been appointed music director of the San Carlo, one of the world's great lyric theaters," said San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley. "This announcement is a tribute to his musical talent and leadership." Nicola Luisotti’s position as San Francisco Opera's music director began in September 2009 and continues through the 2015-16 season.
Maestro Luisotti has been called “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition” by Opera News, which featured him on the cover of the July special issue on conductors. Since his international debut in 2002, Luisotti has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics at venues throughout the world. His leadership of Puccini’s rarely performed La fanciulla del West at The Metropolitan Opera, following critical successes conducting Tosca and La bohème, was hailed by the New York Times as a “distinguished performance.” In conjunction with these 100th Anniversary performances Luisotti was awarded the Premio Puccini Award.
Luisotti’s third season at San Francisco Opera’s Music Director of San Francisco Opera continues in June with a new Gabriele Lavia production of Attila, co-produced with Teatro alla Scala. In addition to I Masnadieri and concerts with the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in late March, Maestro Luisotti’s operatic engagements this season include a return visit to La Scala for Turandot in April. Critically acclaimed for his orchestral conducting, Luisotti will also make appearances with six great orchestras this season including his own San Francisco Opera Orchestra presented by Cal Performances, the Berliner Philharmoniker, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Madrid’s Orquesta Nacional de España and the orchestras of Cleveland and Philadelphia.
The Italian conductor made his critically acclaimed international debut leading a new production of Il trovatore at the Stuttgart State Opera and he has subsequently performed with nearly every major opera company across the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera at Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Milan’s La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, Venice’s Teatro La Fenice, Munich’s Bavarian State Opera, Dresden State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Seattle Opera, Bologna’s Teatro Comunale, and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. He made his debut in Japan, where he serves as Principal Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony, with a semi-staged production of Tosca at Suntory Hall and has since returned for Turandot, La bohème, and the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy of Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, and Così fan tutte.
Maestro Luisotti has also led many of the world’s most acclaimed orchestral ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonia, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, NHK Symphony, Dresden’s Staatskapelle, Munich’s Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the orchestra of Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Torino’s Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI and the orchestras of Hamburg, Budapest, and Zagreb. In conjunction with the 2008 Olympic Games, Luisotti led special concerts in Beijing featuring artists Renée Fleming, Sumi Jo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ramón Vargas.
The conductor’s discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic) with the orchestra of Trieste’s Teatro Verdi and the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon), featuring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. He is also on the podium of a DVD recording of the Met’s La bohème, starring Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas (EMI).