By Susan Brodie: Toi Toi Toi!
Ludovic Morlot is resigning his post as Chief Conductor of La Monnaie/De Munt, effective at the end of December. His contract was to run though 2017.
The resignation comes mid-run of a controversial production of Don Giovanni, which continues through December.
Morlot cites an inability to “reach a consensus on an artistic vision” with the orchestra as his reason for stepping down. La Monnaie’s orchestra plays only a portion of opera productions at the Belgian house. Outside ensembles are invited for certain productions, like the baroque orchestra Les Talens Lyriques who will play for Handel’s Tamerlano and Alcina in January-February.
The 30-year-old French conductor’s star is on the rise in Seattle, where he became Music Director in 2011. Under his leadership the Seattle Symphony has launched a new recording program. Their recording on Cantaloupe Records of John Luther Adams’s “Become Ocean” has earned one of six Grammy nominations for the orchestra.
Morlot’s resignation comes at a difficult time for La Monnaie, which is scrambling to cope with recently announced cuts to federal subsidies, dubbed a “Cultural Blackout” for its potentially devastaing impact.
Here’s the Press Release:
11 december 2014
Ludovic Morlot steps down as Chief Conductor of La Monnaie
Ludovic Morlot: “It is with deep regret that I announce my decision to step down as Chief Conductor of La Monnaie/de Munt at the end of December 2014
I am deeply grateful to Peter de Caluwe for having given me the opportunity to be part of such a vibrant, challenging and creative institution. Working alongside members of La Monnaie and so many wonderful singers and directors has been inspiring and led to many positive musical experiences over the last few years, including the current Don Giovanni production.’
However, I feel that the orchestra and I have not managed to reach a consensus on an artistic vision and therefore, for the sake of their development as well as my own, I have made this decision to stand down.
Peter de Caluwe, General and Artistic Director reacted:
“Although I very much regret this situation, I respect Ludovic Morlot’s decision to make this radical change to his future plans. It has been a real pleasure to have had him as part of the creative and management teams here at La Monnaie for the last three seasons. His human approach and high degree of empathy as well as his innate musicianship have helped us to achieve so much, including a marked improvement in the sound of the orchestra.
Ludovic’s departure offers us an unexpected opportunity to look to the future creatively in the context of the many other discussions we are having at the moment.
I trust that, with a continued empowerment policy we will be able to further improve the human and artistic harmony within the orchestra.”
Ludovic Morlot will conduct all the remaining performances of Don Giovanni and also the concert performances of L’enfance du Christ at the end of this month.
No further comments will be made on this subject. Thank you for respecting this position.