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  • © Catherine Pisaroni
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  • © Renske-Vrolijk

Translation by E. Enyedy

Late last November, in his break time and study hours between several performances of Rigoletto at the Metropolitan in New York, Pablo Heras-Casado was pleased to spend a couple of hours chatting with Platea Magazine, thus lending itself to be the first interview cover of our magazine. Born in Granada in 1977, Heras-Casado says he ceased to be young after more than twenty years making music with passion and discipline in equal measure. From Victoria to Shostakovich, from Verdi to Sotelo, Pablo Heras-Casado moves with unusual familiarity among the most diverse repertoires, in an attitude that speaks a volume about him and in very good way about his firm grasp of music matters. 

Principal conductor of the Orchestra of St. Luke's since 2011, nowadays is the principal guest conductor of the Teatro Real in Madrid, a happy marriage awaiting development over the next five years. With over thirty functions already performed behind the Metropolitan Orchestra in New York, some of us bet on him not only as chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic, as had been rumored, but also as a strong bet for the Metropolitan Orchestra. Against many odds we once bet on Kirill Petrenko for the Berlin Philharmonic. Why not bet today on Heras-Casado for the Met, as the day when Levine leaves is not so distant? Mortier, Boulez, Barenboim or Hogwood, among so many other Masters, have left their trace on Heras-Casado professional development, a conductor from Granada called to make music with authenticity.

To begin with, I would like you to help me to stop feeling the way we do, both critics and public, as it may seem you have gone from zero to one hundred in a couple of years, when actually I guess that neither zero nor one hundred correspond to reality.

(Laughing) Actually neither that ‘zero’ nor that ‘one hundred’ are such. I guess this will also happen to many other people in other fields. For example, an athlete who wins a Grand Prix may appear to have already touched the sky, because that fact has a lot of media exposure. But everything is simpler than that. Next December I will have been leading for twenty years. This is such a long way in which you have to go sowing and sowing little by little. It is true that meetings with major orchestras and theatres have got a greater echo. And in this way, my schedule has been on the increase over the past two or three years. But I don’t have that feeling of living through a huge shift. I think, however, that those meetings with major orchestras and theatres hide somehow all previous work, when in fact, as I said before, in no case you go from zero to one hundred in a little time. I get the feeling of doing the same things as twenty years ago but now I do that things with other people, with another routine, in other areas, with other projects ... It is the same case with more impact and more intensely on my agenda, but nothing has changed. It is part of the way and there is still much to do and learn. And ultimately that curiosity and that desire is the same motivation that has always driven me.

From a distance, The presence of a Spanish conductor at the Met is regarded as an ordinary fact or continues to be regarded quite as a rare event?

From a distance, as I now find myself, it’s not so easy to value. The first year that I performed at the Met, and as of today they are three consecutive seasons, there was a greater impact and it seemed quite reasonable to me, since not every day is a Spanish baton at the Met; even when there are so many Spanish artists acting here or there in other major venues around the world. In this way of thinking I guess there’s no difference at all whether a Spanish artist would be exposed at the MOMA, for example. Of course it is not something that happens every day, but it isn’t something so unusual. It is something very normal to me, just a part of my life; it’s my day to day. At the Met I feel at home, it is my nearest operatic family after these three years. That regularity and what lies ahead in the Met makes me see my presence there as something quite ordinary, and in fact I do not even think about it. And I guess that it is also seen in Spain with that normality; it is no longer news I conduct the Met, and it seems logical and normal after three years there.

Since last season you are the main guest conductor at the Teatro Real in Madrid. What has it meant for your career and what specific projects or commitments does it imply?

I’m so excited at this relationship. I think it's the perfect formula for both theater and me. The Real is one of the theaters of international reference. We all want this to remain that way and increasingly. For me it is a responsibility to be the principal guest conductor of the Real. Contrary to what it might seem, by playing ‘at home’, it's not a comfortable position but a heavy responsibility one. And this is also due to the way I work, because I always seek to give and get the most, with a healthy ambition when it comes to major projects like the ones we're going to do at the Real. There's a wonderful professional team in there, great enthusiasm, with lots of optimism, and that is the best way to keep thinking about projects at the Teatro Real. We have projects there until 2019 and we are already working almost six or seven years before. Next year I will direct a new production of The Flying Dutchman at the Teatro Real.

Six or seven years from now is too much to say.

No doubt about it, but I love it that way because they’re big projects we have to begin to "cook" now, sufficient distance and time ahead.

I remember you were challenged by Joan Matabosch about Die Soldaten in the press conference in which he presented you as principal guest conductor.

Yes (laughs). For me it is fortunate that Joan Matabosch is in Madrid. He knew exactly how to hook me for the project and in just fifteen minutes of meeting we both knew what we wanted to do and defined the basics of a long-term project, with titles like this Die Soldaten. We talked about projects with a very important dimension and real challenges for a baton and a theatre. 

The link with the Real however goes back in time, as well as your relationship with Gerard Mortier, who I think was very important for you when meeting in Paris some years ago.

Yes, exactly. The meeting with Mortier was important at the right time in my career when it happened. For me it was like being in the right place and time near the right person. In Paris I really learned what opera is, understood in a broadly way, where music and theatre will always go hand in hand in a deep project sense. That time in Paris also meant an immersion in a particular way of believing in opera as a creative process. And that certainly set my way of working and believing in projects. My idea of ​​operatic process is marked by Gerard Mortier and the other people in Brussels, Barcelona and other theatres have continued the path Mortier began. In Madrid my collaboration with him was finalized in Mahagonny first and then especially with audiences Mauricio Sotelo, who was somehow his artistic testament, which he dreamed all his life and finally stopped in Madrid. It was truly a memorable and beautiful experience.

Besides Mortier I imagine there are some other great figures who have marked your work and your career over the last ten or fifteen years.

Yes, Mortier was a decisive influence on the time of my life in which I met him in Paris. As I said before, he shaped my aesthetic ideas on the kind of productions, artists, etc. and also about the kind of commitment that you must have as a director. But many more artists and people have exerted a great influence on my work from the beginning. I always try to create my view and my own path in contact with many other opinions and different point of views, confronting with them. My way of work revolves around this: to search and observe a conflict or problem and find my own solution. In this respect I owe much to people like Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Harry Christophers, Christopher Hogwood, Sylvain Cambreling, Salvador Mas ... very different personalities in very specific moments have helped me to learn and to be myself. Always in these cases it's more to help you learn than to teach you.

A pot of names you’re mentioning that fits and matches a vertebral feature of your career:  opening horizons in terms of repertoire, covering old music to contemporary music as well, past by the great classical repertoire.

Yes, and this is no accident nor something like an aesthetic exhibitionism. For me all are important and fascinating repertoires. And all I've tried to be a specialist alike. For me the idea of ​​the specialist as someone restricted to a very narrow field of a profession does not have much interest, it is something a little empty. In my case, like one conductor is assumed must get to know the symphonies of Brahms, Schumann or Mahler, I understand that is identical and as obvious as that the requirement of knowing Monteverdi Madrigals, the Responsorios of Victoria, the operas of Handel or Boulez's orchestral works. It's obvious. That means of course a great curiosity, working hard and a non-stop study. But that's my job after all: to make each of these musical repertories a part of me. On the other hand, the most fascinating of all are the cross-relationships between all these repertories, works and composers of different periods and styles. All this set of changes, reactions, questions and answers is possible only when you have a thorough knowledge of all the great background, the entire history of music after all. And this is something I have grown since the beginning of my career, it has not been a curious point here or there. And now to continue doing it at the highest level with the best teams, artists and institutions is a luxury. I remember well when I started I was told by someone it was impossible to know all repertoires; I had to choose and specialize. But in any way I think it has to be that way because it can be otherwise as you may see.

In this comprehensive repertoire, however, you have not yet reached some important pieces such as the works of Wagner. I pointed before this is close in time, like The Flying Dutchman.

Yes effectively. Wagner has come a little late but I think Wagner has come when had to. Everything has its moment. Just as when Verdi came, I think that now is the right time for Wagner. Also in recent years I have spent much in the symphonic scores repertoire from nineteenth and early twentieth century, German and Russian or French, and I believe I am now ready to take on Wagner with guarantees, with all that symphonic baggage of large dimensions .And I have also directed many opera at this time; important for me to have done bel canto, Verdi or Mozart before facing Wagner, which requires a particular physical, emotional and mental strength to a musical director. Before the The Flying Dutchman at The Real I will also perform in Russia and some Wagner also planned in Berlin. I'm programming Wagner with increasing intensity and frequency over the next three, four or five years.

Is it not a little dizzy feeling when looking at the schedule and see the alternation of large formations and theaters, the Mariinsky Met, the London Symphony to Berlin Staatskapelle, San Francisco to Rome, etc.?

Being honest it is not. And I do not want to sound pretentious. Of course I am well aware of the privilege of working with these formations and theaters. But everyday I live in an ordinary way, aware of the requirements. For some reason when I check my schedule and I'm finding all these names, one after another, I do feel a great respect for what the present and the future hold me. But I have never been impressed or scared. I do not see more than a requirement and a responsibility. In the end, when you get on the podium, there is nothing but music, no names or legends, is only making music with a group of artists, no more and no less. And once you're there everything else is forgotten and fades away. I know where I'm working on every project and I have great respect and admiration for each formation, but when I’m working I do not think about it, frankly.

Your career has not reached yet something more important than performing St. Luke's Orchestra chief conductor. There were some people who came to value your name for the Berliner. Too much importance is given to entitlements in the world of classical music? Is it possible to carry on a strong career without them?

Well, I think my case is already an example in itself. I'm working with the orchestras I want and I am fully satisfied with my career. There isn’t a ticked list of orchestras and theaters you go working with but do the projects you want to do with those who you want instead. Such a program in such a place, to develop yourself with this or that orchestra and going to work with them year after year, to have specific recording projects, etc. This is the most fascinating way, it is what I'm doing and I think there is no single formula to be a conductor. Entitlements have relevance because you are continuously linked to a project in the medium and long term, but they are not the only way to be there. I'm doing my career my way and when the time arrives, any offer will be welcome if it is presented and there is a project behind the offer. But I will not look for a permanent principal conductor for the sake of having it. It is something that will happen in an appropriate way at the right time. Everything has its time.

What is your working method when facing a score?

Obviously each piece of work, each score is a universe in itself, especially when you go deeper in the history of music. Without intention to compare, there is more complexity in a Mahler symphony that in a Haydn one, especially because they are born in different contexts and with different aspirations. Ultimately there is always a common language and as a conductor there is always an habit already assimilated, based on experience, which stands as a starting point when working with a particular repertoire. Yu never work from scratch. When I face a new score I let it breathe, let it whisper in my ear, to familiarize myself with the score, etc. It is also important to get a physical score and graphically to have the feeling of dominating and meet it. Sometimes people ask me if I have a pre-determined planning about what I want to do with a score when the essays begin. And the truth is that I do not. The only planning may exist is already in the score itself. So I like to know the score methodically as a starting point. And from there decisions are taken on the road.

And how the management of a group arises, is an orchestral training or a set of singers? What is the balance between a more friendly communication and authority that is supposed to show?

Both concepts, authority and fellowship and generosity are absolutely compatible. Obviously there must be be an authority but based on knowledge, study and experience. And nothing more. That’s what you’ve got or not. Authority is not born suddenly or planned in any way. And if you try to pretend authority it is something completely false and you can smell it a mile off. It is counterproductive to pretend what you’re not. A few days ago I talked to an accompanist pianist at the Met who has worked there for over thirty years. Someone who obviously knows a lot about the story of that particular theater and about opera in general. He has worked with every wll-known musician, with Kleiber, with Karajan, with Pavarotti, Domingo, Scotto ... with all of them. And he wondered how I get to stay calm during the rehearsals, as the process goes on. For indeed an opera production is complex, with many factors involved and coordinated: artistic, physical, emotional and human. And I said there is probably something personal in all of this, but also and above all of this is a matter of conviction because surely doing the opposite way, waving me and tightening things I do not win or gain absolutely nothing. Losing your temper or trying to impose authority abruptly may turn everything against you and against the final and overall outcome of the representation. In the work of a musical director the positive and the negative things are treated in an equal way to handle them, the strengths and weaknesses of each artist, each orchestra, etc. And therein lies the real teamwork: it comes to value what each part of the human group may offer but the final say is through the filter of a personal concept of mine, as far as I'm in charge of that particular project.

One of the things I've always identified as vertebral in the legacy of Gerard Mortier is that sense of project that should articulate any production, regardless of the specific personality of each of the artists who were involved in it and therefore against the world of egos in conflict is often lyrical. In the time when we speak, and I think unfairly, for stage directors as the new divas, in contrast to conductors no longer have the authority of old times being a Furtwaengler or Karajan, ¿The extent to which the work of a conductor has today become an ‘egos’ management?

Yes, as we mentioned earlier, this notion of opera as a team is a priority for me, as a project that ultimately everything is above each of the single parts. Generous spirit of contribution to a common project is the key to get things right. And indeed that was characteristic of the artistic credo of Mortier, who is no less true that as manager of course also had a big ego. But in the end he always set the work and music above all. And I follow his conception to the letter. Everything else is just wordiness and mediocrity; it has always existed and will continue to exist, inevitably, come from whoever it comes. Therefore it is a matter of fighting and working because the music is above all. At the end of each day, after every little story, above any ego and frustration prevails and must prevail music. It is a fact of life that everything else exists, but luckily there are great artists, and not a few, who have this priority. Moreover, even a cliché, I am convinced that behind every great artist is a great person.

In some cases like yours when a particular career is built on hard work and honesty, it must be a difficult inner struggle to be yourself and not falling and lend yourself to certain easy battles.

As you can imagine, when you are around certain given contexts and environments, and near such important people like those I have around these days in New York, for example, it is common that you get more or less uncomfortable situations and you are forced to have a thick skin and a good armour to resist. It is inevitable that a certain attitude or a certain gesture may enervate you, because we all remain human and we all have our best and worst days. But in the end this conviction, this attitude of firmness and honesty at work is what is need and what goes everywhere. And with that principle both professional career as life itself end up being easier and make more sense. And so everything has to come at the end comes. As it is a matter of personal choice: since I started twenty years ago I’m convinced that if I am not right, strong in the values ​​that I have as a person and those values are the same I have as an artist, it doesn’t worth the cost doing what I do. And that's the condition I imposed and I always impose. And then the path one way or another ends up being anecdotal.

Sometimes it might seem that the musical director is bound to be that of a loner who works often locked himself face to face with the score. And that condition is stressed as the least happy piece of job, when maybe this part is the most authentic and rewarding part for some of you, the real charming piece of job.

Yes, it remains a creative work and the work of all creative people moves to the end by facing oneself and that implies a greater or lesser amount of work in solitude. I may say the same thing about a writer, a painter or a sculptor. It is a lonely but very real process. In our case also the isolation is necessary and important but it is the culmination of meeting with other artists, communicating and sharing an experience that goes beyond the solitude of the study. I do not see it as something negative but rather productive because it moves toward the musical performance with other artists.

One of the most visual characteristics of your working way is the fact you don’t do it with baton but hands instead. Is this something premeditated or more natural than it might seem?

It is completely natural and I think it is a rather anecdotal question. Of course I would go with baton if I felt more comfortable with it, if a baton added something to my way of communicating with the musicians. The truth is that I am more comfortable without baton and I feel I build a soft and real communication channel. But it means nothing more. It is a personal choice, as when a violinist choose a pillow or another.

I read on your personal Facebook a critical comment on a statement by Donald Trump. And with regard to that statement I thought about the fact that your partner is a public person, well known in Spain. Beyond these two specific circumstances in which it is not time to go any further, to what extent do you feel compelled to take a public position on certain issues to reach more political or social scope? And to what extent do you feel yourself a public figure, sometimes almost appearing on tabloids? How do you feel about it?

I do not feel obliged to take public position on certain issues. But I am aware of being a public figure. And it is quite important that we the artists think on this: all artists are communicators and exert a certain influence in one way or another. The artist or musician that only works for colleagues with a corporate sense of his work, they’re losing sight there's an audience out there who read and hear what we say, that follows us in one degree or another, and that we are related to people who follow us. And to me is an opportunity, which I think we the artists should know how to manage. We must try to live up to this public role we like it or not. That does not mean I will always be positioned and on any matter discussed. Do not forget that at the end we are just artists; but as I said, being an artist is why we also have a public dimension that now and then forces us to take position on certain issues. This public exposure is necessary and we must learn to live with it, I would say you need to know how to honour this exposure. And in my case I really want to cultivate that public side to the extent that also allows me to transcend my own work. If I have the opportunity to bring music to the world of volunteering or whether my opinion on a specific cultural policy can have some scope I think my duty is to seize that opportunity and be aware of it.

And this positioning, to what extent is required and you can claim to an artist? I think for example in the context of a few months ago with a wave of violence against homosexuals in Russia, where a more explicit condemnation of Russian artists was claimed from public figures like Gergiev or Netrebko.

It is difficult to focus on specific cases and it is normal that in a situation like that, a positioning may be claimed. With regard to what I said before we can not hide under our condition of being artists. Precisely because we are artists we are cultural references in one degree or another and our stance on certain contexts may be relevant. Gergiev and Netrebko in this case are not only great artistis but a very great cultural reference for hundreds of thousands of people in Russia, which to some extent are cultural ambassadors. That's where lies our responsibility. It is quite ordinary when I’m being asked such and such a matter of political or social significance in Spain and probably I will have to be able to position myself. I think the equidistance is not the best answer in these cases.

You belong to a generation of conductors which in Spain is represented by Guillermo García-Calvo, Ramon Tebar or Oliver Diaz among others. We mentioned before your name sounded in some pools, though few, to the Berlin Philharmonic. What do you think of the figure of Kirill Petrenko, the one finally chosen?

When I started reading my name appearing in some of the speculations about who might be the next conductor in Berlin, even in some serious media and German press, I confess I thought, "this is something that I will show in the future to my grandchildren" (laughs). But of course, it was nothing credible. If someone in the press is doing a large survey to see who might be there at the front in Berlin  took me into consideration that remains a nice recognition to me, but nothing more. The same is now happening with the New York Philharmonic and all of them are speculations. About Petrenko, the truth is that I would almost say that relieves me the Berliner has finally chosen someone like him, based on a purely artistic profile, his ability to do as a musician and, apart from anything else about his ability as communicator, his discography or media appearances. Petrenko is a deep musician and committed to his work and his election by an orchestra like the Berlin Philharmonic, which somehow is the beacon of all orchestras, is like countersigning, a very important signal that music is above it all.

No doubt it was a huge choice of consistency and integrity by the Philharmonic, regardless of any extra-musical other consideration.

Exact. And so I think it's a good sign for the musical world, regardless of speculation about the most appropriate profile in key of marketing, image or discography, etc. Nor have primacy say the essence, the idea of ​​someone who represents the German repertoire this or that way, etc. In the end there has been no more identity than great music, authentic music and made in a deep and honestly way. This triumph is great news for everyone.

I said earlier that also the occasions when your name has sounded for the New York Philharmonic were mere speculations. But there will come a time when they no longer are. Talking about you, we are facing a baton with wide projection and sooner than later is likely that your candidacy for positions arise, not only in the New York Philharmonic but also maybe some day at the Met, who knows.

With the same frankness I said before Berlin seemed like science fiction but it seemed nice to be there, I also say that of course I am aware that my work could bear fruit and anything could happen, either in New York or another place. I've never set a target but of course that I have not ruled out. I don’t know whether New York would be the right choice at this time, but perhaps in a few years’ time it might make sense because obviously this is where I conduct the most, and the place where I spend most of the year. Here I have strong relationships, both personal and professional, with the Metropolitan, with the Philharmonic, in Carnegie Hall, with Lincoln Center, with my orchestra in St. Luke, etc. Sure it might make sense, but today are all speculations and nobody really knows for sure what's going on in an organization like the New York Philharmonic, so complex as we all know. As in Berlin, it is not just about choosing a director but a cultural representative of an institution. In every moment each institution decides where they want to go hand in hand. Anything can happen. All I can say is that for me is an honour to be in that circle of candidates.

We mentioned before the Spanish generation of conductors to which you belong to, but also part of an international generation of increasingly settled conductors as Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, among others. In your case, as in all of them, I wonder: How long are you going to be ‘young’?

(Laughs) That’s what I ask myself. Me or any of my colleagues we are focused on positioning ourselves as young conductors. We do not mind, of course, but let's say that it’s something I do not pay so much attention. It is the media press that often emphasize on these kind of things. Every time you bring up my age in an interview I nuance it because I am thirty-eight years old and that is an age at which a man has done almost everything or at least much in his life. In fact, I have already spent more years conducting. Maybe that so called youthfulness is such a matter of attitude, because obviously the career of a director is long term and we have much, so much to do. Perhaps the youthfulness have more to do with dynamism, with passion, but they are still topical. I want you to judge me for my music and not to judge regarding my age.

We mentioned Petrenko and it seems now that everything he touches, each function he conducts in Munich for example, has to be a memorable event. That is something that can’t be that way, because there are a thousand factors involved and the extraordinary can not happen every day. There is a general expectation that certainly generates tension and pressure and will be difficult to even manage a certain fear to disappoint.

Yes, definitely. We mentioned before the feeling that you get reviewing your agenda and look at the commitments to come. The same applies to the public and their expectations: you can not be constantly thinking about it because if you do you may get nuts. At the Metropolitan, for example, I've directed over thirty roles, I have done many times Rigoletto, and you might think you know already the whole piece and work backwards and forwards, you feel comfortable and confident with the orchestra, with the artists, with the theater. But in the end every night is such a unique night and the expectation is always the same: that night has to be the best night because those who are the public that night expect it that way. And the artists and musicians also want it that way. And you can feel it too: you're doing Rigoletto at the Met and you can not disappoint anybody. But you have to live with some flexibility because when things do not go as expected, and that happens, we must move forward; we have to take note of every thing that can be improved and go for the next function or the next concert. The truth is you have to be well settled to manage all of this, because otherwise it may affect your emotional life. The key is to get up every day chasing the performance of that night is going to be the best performance ever. It finally will depend on many factors, but our responsibility is to try to do our best. The pressure exists but is part of the game; I would say that is a necessary condition for making the magic that brings the music.

Also the role of discography is important in your career. I still remember when Pappano and Domingo with Stemme recorded Tristan for EMI. Advertising reached statements such the last great recording that was going to be held at the studio. And that was ten years ago. Is the disc is in good or poor health and the extent to which recordings are an essential part of your career?

I think records are in good health. Obviously they have changed and now supports many more digital platforms as downloads. The industry has adapted and possibilities change almost every month. It is a living and moving industry. It's not like before, of course, as those times when a recording was generating a lot of money for artists and for the record company, but instead believe that the scope of the music is different and much more, in a more comprehensive and interactive field . For my career in particular is a huge honour to record with companies like Deutsche Grammophon and Harmonia Mundi, something I could never imagine. For me a recording is mostly a project which has to be very solid and very powerful before planning a new job. Only by having clear why this work, why this repertoire and why with these artists make sense to launch a recording. From the beginning, and this will continue to be that way, it is the result of a very strong desire on my part to do it that certain way and with these artists in particular. I feel I’ve got my own ideas and I like that to be noticed at each of the recorded discs. And that personality is also important when considering discography as a legacy, as something personal that may remain in time as a reference. So, increasingly, trying interesting projects and productions that I have on my agenda appearing as a recording is a part of that creative energy standing there in that record.

I guess there will be a few recording projects right now.

It will now appear on Harmonia Mundi the third edition of Schumann's concerts, cello was pending. Also the third and fourth symphonies of Mendelssohn. All this with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, into a large project we’ve got to record German romantic repertoire on period instruments. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Symphony no. 5, this way in a couple of years I will have my complete cycle recorded with all his symphonies.A Tchaikovsky disc is expected in a year’s time, also with Harmonia Mundi. With the Orchestra of St. Luke we recorded The Tempest and Symphony no. 1. And with Deutsche Grammophon next recording project is an unprecedented Telemann oratorio and then we’ll be immersed in a large Monteverdi project. 2017 marks the 450th anniversary of his birth and have provided various recordings, with a tour, etc. He also recently recorded two cello concertos of Shostakovich with Alisa Weilerstein and the orchestra of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio.

There will also be staged few projects of relevance to the agenda to come.

In addition to The Flying Dutchman in the Real, which I’m really willing to perform, next year I’m also conducting Le nozze di Figaro at the Staatsoper in Berlin. I also have a new production of Carmen in Aix-en-Provence in a couple of years. Butterfly at the Metropolitan will be also held within a couple of years.

And some project or challenge to do, something that you’re willing to come true?

The truth is: no. All I want to do is moving forward or backward, when everything is moving forward it excites me. I will lead Mahler in the forthcoming years, almost all his symphonies. The same with Wagner, I will conduct Wagner from now on, as I said before. The truth is that the projects that I have for the next five years and really filled me with joy and keeps me greatly excited. A personal challenge that I have by being fourty years old is running a marathon (laughs). Like everything else, it's a matter of determination, that's the key.

 

 

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