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Conductor change: Christopher Willis to conduct remaining performances of Elektra

Assistant Conductor replaces Andris Nelsons who has withdrawn due to strong viral flu.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

8 October 2013 at 1.59pm | 5 Comments

Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons has withdrawn from conducting the performances of Elektra with The Royal Opera on 9 and 12 October due to a strong viral flu. He has had to make this decision on orders from his doctor, and expresses deep regret at having to do so.

Assistant conductor Christopher Willis, who has been working closely with Andris Nelsons and the cast and orchestra on Elektra, will take over the two performances.

Christopher joined the Music Staff at Glyndebourne in 1978 and since 1985 has been a member of the Music Staff of The Royal Opera. He has been closely involved in the preparation of new works with both companies, by composers including Luciano Berio, Michael Tippett, Harrison Birtwistle, Oliver Knussen, Thomas Adès, Nigel Osborne and Alexander Goehr. He was Musical Director for City of Birmingham Touring Opera’s production of Smetana’s The Two Widows, creating a chamber reduction of the orchestral parts for piano and string quartet. He has conducted Paul Bunyan, Stiffelio, Eugene Onegin, The Tsarina’s Slippers, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni and Simon Boccanegra for The Royal Opera.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

8 October 2013 at 1.59pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged cast change, Christopher Willis, conductor

This article has 5 comments

  1. Michael Haringman responded on 8 October 2013 at 4:57pm Reply

    Most regrettable. To date Andris Nelsons does not seem to have withdrawn from the Philharmonia Brahms cycle at the RFH on Thursday and Sunday.

    • Alexander Hall responded on 9 October 2013 at 2:35pm

      Nelsons is clearly quite ill: he has withdrawn from his engagements with the Philharmonia on both the 10th (Hannu Lintu) and on the 13th (Jac van Steen).

  2. David Felton responded on 10 October 2013 at 6:49am Reply

    Willis lost control of the orchestra from the start, and was fortunate his soloists were on top form. This was an undistinguished display, light years from the intensity of Nelsons on Sunday.

  3. Mike Fardon responded on 10 October 2013 at 10:21am Reply

    There was certainly an orchestral 'fluff' in the first bar on Wednesday night, but this did not detract from what was a gripping and superbly sung performance. Credit is due all round, including to Christopher Willis, who received well-deserved and rousing applause.

  4. Shelagh Cohen responded on 13 October 2013 at 12:21am Reply

    A superb performance tonight from the stage and the pit. The tension was so great that an audible release of breath from the whole audience was heard as the curtain fell. Congratulations to everyone, not least Chris Willis.

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