Talk: James Conlon on Art and Opera—Strauss's "Salome"
James Conlon, acclaimed Music Director of the LA Opera, presents this engaging talk on the influence of art on opera, and the influence of opera on art. Celebrating 10 years with the company this season, he is currently conducting the company's production of Richard Strauss's Salome. At the same time, LACMA is gearing up for a special exhibition of Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage, opening in July, featuring Marc Chagall's costumes and set designs for Mozart's The Magic Flute, the production that served as Maestro Conlon's debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976. This is an opportune time to explore the intersection of the visual arts and opera.
In addition to his post at the LA Opera, Maestro Conlon is principal conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Torino, Italy, where he is the first American to hold the position in the orchestra's 84-year history. He has previously served as music director of the Cincinnati May Festival, America's oldest choral festival; music director of the Ravinia Festival (summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra); as pricipal conductor of the Paris National Opera; as general music director of the City of Cologne; and music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
He has conducted more than 270 performances at the Metropolitan Opera and has conducted virtually every major American and European symphony orchestra. Last year, he lectured at LACMA on the "Recovered Voices" project, his work championing the lesser-known works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime. For this he has received the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League.
Photo courtesy of James Conlon