A Paris Opera Conductor Comes Full Circle

Catching up with Philippe Jordan

(New York Times) — After over a decade as music director of the Paris Opera, the conductor Philippe Jordan is preparing to enter a new phase of his career at the Vienna State Opera. He bids farewell with the same work that won over the French capital’s audience in 2010: Wagner’s “Ring.”

A new staging of the tetralogy by Calixto Bieito has been scheduled to begin this season and continue in the fall before it unfolds under Mr. Jordan’s baton as a mini-festival in November and December. It takes place despite a loss of over 16 million euros ($17 million) because of strikes over retirement reform that forced the company to withdraw two new productions next season.

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Known as much for his versatility and rigor as an ability to balance the theatrical with musical considerations, the 45-year-old (son of the conductor Armin Jordan) is credited with raising standards in the pit during his Paris tenure. But it is with Wagner perhaps more than any other composer that the Swiss native has made his mark, from noted appearances at the Bayreuth Festival in 2012 to the Metropolitan Opera last year. […]