Malibu Seen: The Sound of Music

The Los Angeles Opera’s James Conlon marks a milestone on the cultural scene.

Congrats to Los Angeles musical and cultural force James Conlon. The 62-year-old conductor has renewed his contract with the Los Angeles Opera for five more years, and will remain as music director through the end of the 2017-2018 seasons.

The announcement was delivered by LAO’s General Director Plácido Domingo, who expressed his joy at having the opportunity to work with the conductor.

“James has had an incredible impact on the artistic quality of LA Opera performances,” Domingo said. “Since his arrival, he has conducted more than half of our main stage performances, inspiring performers and audiences alike through his extraordinary talents. His vision for the company’s future, like mine, is one of great ambition and optimism.”

Domingo made his big announcement at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Hall, which has been renamed after Malibu’s Marc and Eva Stern.

New Yorker Conlon said he is thrilled to be part of the L.A. team and scene as music director of LA Opera until 2018.

“I am very proud of the company’s artistic accomplishments and of its devotion to maintaining uncompromising artistic standards. On a personal level, I enjoy working and living in Los Angeles on a daily basis in a way I could not have imagined prior to 2006,” Conlon said. “I am grateful to Plácido Domingo and to Board Chair Marc Stern for the confidence they have shown in me, to Christopher Koelsch for his exceptional collaboration, and most of all, to the musicians of the orchestra, chorus and music staff for making every intense day so satisfying.”

Conlon joined LA Opera as music director at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. He has conducted a total of 33 different operas at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, including 18 company premieres and two U.S. premieres. To date, he has conducted 190 performances of main stage LA Opera productions, more than any other conductor in the company’s history.

Conlon has been a driving force behind many of LA Opera’s most important initiatives in recent seasons. In 2010, he conducted LA Opera’s first presentations of Richard Wagner’s complete “Der Ring des Nibelungen,” which inspired the countywide “Ring Festival LA.” Throughout 2013 and beyond, Conlon will spearhead “Britten 100 LA: A Celebration.” The series honors the centenary of English composer Benjamin Britten.