The Israel Opera has announced the appointment of US conductor David Stern to the position of IO music director for the upcoming and the 2009/'10 season. Additionally, singer/conductor Placido Domingo has consented to serve as the IO's honorary musical advisor.
Stern will conduct the revival of Yosef Badanashvili's Journey to the End of the Millennium this December and at least one production each season. He will work with IO general manager Hannah Munitz and the IO's musical staff on an ongoing basis, and will help increase the Opera's exposure abroad.
David Stern, 45, is the son of Vera and Isaac Stern. His father was not only one of the world's very great violinists, but also one of Israel's most ardent supporters. His mother headed the America-Israel Foundation for many years, thereby fostering scores of young Israeli artists. Stern made his debut at the IO conducting Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio and came again last season when he conducted Handel's Julius Caesar in Egypt. The native New Yorker is currently music director of the St. Gallen Opera in Switzerland and of the Opera Fuoco (est. 2003) in France, which enlivens the classical and baroque operas.
He and his family currently reside in Paris.
"It is an honor to become music director of one of the world's respected and well-regarded opera houses," he says. "I look forward to working with the coming generation of Israeli singers and it's a real pleasure to enhance my professional connection with the world of Israeli culture."
For Domingo, this post is like the closing of a circle. The world's greatest living tenor, Domingo started his international career at the old Israel Opera in the 1960s and has retained a soft spot for it ever since.