Noseda to replace Luisi as Zurich Opera music director

Gianandrea Noseda will become general music director of the Zurich Opera in the 2021-22 season, adding to his position as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

The 54-year-old conductor's new post was announced Monday, 2½ months after he quit as music director of the Teatro Regio Torino in Italy following the hiring of a new superintendent, who canceled a planned 2019 U.S. tour.

As part of the agreement with Zurich, Noseda will conduct a new production of Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelungs)," directed by Andreas Homoki, whose contact as artistic director the Zurich Opera was extended Monday by three years until 2025.

Noseda will replace Fabio Luisi, who will leave one season earlier than planned. Luisi agreed last month to become music director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2020-21.

"With the offer of the Ring Cycle, it was particularly difficult to say no," Noseda said, "especially being asked by a German-speaking theater. I thought it was a nice opportunity for me to dig more inside the German culture."

Noseda plans to spend four to five months annually in Zurich and conduct two new productions, two revivals and several symphonic concerts each season.

He will retain his post in Washington, which started last fall, and his other primary job as co-principal guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, which began in 2016-2017. He also is principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, principal conductor of the Orquestra de Cadaques in Spain and artistic director of the Stresa Festival in Italy.

Noseda conducted two productions in Zurich in the spring of 2017, a new staging of Prokofiev's "The Fiery Angel" by Calixto Bieito and a revival of Verdi's "Macbeth." The Ring productions likely will start in 2022.

"I admire his energy and his passion," Homoki said. "He always sees the bigger picture and is interested in theatrical issues, and he's open for new interpretations. He's a really a good partner for me, which also can inspire me and also push me."

Homoki said Noseda topped recent annual polls of the orchestra on favorite conductors it worked with each season. Homoki had not expected Noseda to leave Turin.

"I was a little shocked," he said.

Homoki, who started in Zurich in 2012, said Luisi likely will conduct one new production and one revival each season as a guest conductor.

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