TIME

Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin is ushering in a new act for the Metropolitan Opera

YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN, on the expectations he faces

IN THE FLY SPACE ABOVE THE STAGE AT THE Metropolitan Opera and around and behind it, scenery waits to be called into action. An intricate system of pulleys and lifts allows quick changes. Today’s afternoon rehearsal for Dialogues des Carmélites, for example, will be followed only hours later by a performance of Rigoletto. And in a place of many moving pieces, Yannick Nézet-Séguin fits right in—even though he’s standing at the head of the orchestra in a T-shirt and sneakers while the singers are costumed for 18th century France.

Nézet-Séguin, whose conducting of Francis Poulenc’s Carmélites will put a bow on his first season as music director at the New York City institution, is a man with many batons in the air. He fills parallel roles at the Philadelphia Orchestra and at the Orchestre

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME11 min read
Octopus’ Garden
I first laid eyes on an octopus when I was 8. My father, who taught biology at Middlebury College in Vermont, sporadically hosted a lunch for his class, to which he would bring an assortment of invertebrates. Students would discuss each specimen, ide
TIME3 min readPolitics
Troops Aren’t The Answer
As the humanitarian crisis at the southern border has grown, the President and his allies have called for the U.S. military to be deployed in greater numbers. I commanded the U.S. Southern Command, overseeing all forces south of this country, for a f
TIME10 min read
Living In Limbo
DNA tests could help migrants identify loved ones separated at sea. But politics stands in the way