Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Metropolitan Opera’s music director, will not conduct, as planned, a revival of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” in January, the company announced on Monday evening.
Nézet-Séguin will be “taking a brief, almost four-week sabbatical from all conducting duties commencing Dec. 19,” the Met said, and quoted him as adding, “This short break will allow time for me to re-energize as we return in the new year with more inspiring art.”
The Philadelphia Orchestra, of which Nézet-Séguin is also music director, announced that Xian Zhang would take over his scheduled concerts on Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, but said that his time off would not affect his appearance with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 11, nor two subsequent weeks of subscription concerts in Philadelphia in January.
Nézet-Séguin — who earlier in his career was known for keeping a particularly hectic schedule, and sometimes canceling — is currently in the midst of leading the Met’s run of Matthew Aucoin and Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice.” It is the second company premiere he has conducted this fall, after opening the season with Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.”
He also led the Met’s forces in outdoor performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony and a nationally telecast version of Verdi’s Requiem for the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as concerts in Philadelphia, at Carnegie and in Montreal, where he is the music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain.
He conducts Puccini’s “Tosca” at the Met from Thursday through Dec. 18, as well as a new production of Verdi’s “Don Carlos” that opens on Feb. 28.
For the “Figaro” run, which opens on Jan. 8, Nézet-Séguin will be replaced by Daniele Rustioni — who is at the Met to conduct a new production of “Rigoletto” starting New Year’s Eve — and (for the final performance, on Jan. 28) Gareth Morrell. Five more “Figaro” performances scheduled for April will be conducted by James Gaffigan.