Venezuela’s acclaimed conductor Gustavo Dudamel on Thursday said he was stepping down from his role as musical director of the Paris Opera.
“It is with a heavy heart, and after much thought, that I announce my resignation from the post of musical director of the Paris Opera in order to spend more time with my family,” he said.
Dudamel, 42, signed on to lead the opera in 2021 for six years, telling AFP he wanted to break down the walls of the fabled institution in search of new audiences.
“We live in a time that, I believe, has profoundly and intimately shaken our beings,” he said.
“I have no other projects than to be with my family members.”
The New York Philharmonic in February announced that the Venezuelan maestro would become its music and artistic director for five years from 2026.
Dudamel, recognisable by his curly hair, has also held the same position at the Los Angeles Phil since 2009.
He is also artistic director of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
Alexander Neef, director general of the Paris Opera, thanked the conductor, saying his “passion and immense talent have greatly contributed to the opera’s repertoire”.
Before becoming musical director of the Paris Opera, Dudamel had performed there only once, directing La Boheme by Puccini in 2017.