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Leonard Slatkin out as conductor of "La Traviata" at Metropolitian Opera

Leonard Slatkin conducting the Nashville Symphony in 2006. (Dipti Vaidya/AP)

Saturday's second performance of "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera went off without a hitch -- after conductor Leonard Slatkin was given the boot. The former National Symphony Orchestra musical director was replaced by Marco Armiliato after his disastrous debut Monday: Slatkin was savaged in the opening-night reviews ("faulty," "tentative, clumsy," "indifferent") and withdrew for "personal reasons."

This was the first time Slatkin had ever conducted the Verdi opera. "Listening to a few recordings was helpful but confusing," he wrote on his blog. It's a PR nightmare for Slatkin, reports our classical music critic Anne Midgette, because he was just embarking on career rehabilitation with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra after his up-and-down tenure at the NSO. The incident, she writes, casts questions on his basic abilities: "It's not often that a conductor leaves the Met for simply not being able to cut it."

By The Reliable Source  |  April 5, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
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After the misery and hard feelings Leonard Slatkin made in the NSO I am surprised any symphony would have bothered to hire him.

The man got rid of the best the NSO had to offer to give it a younger face and then what happens? Ticket sales go down, quality of the performances go in the tank.

Slatkin had a habit of doing a lot, and doing it very quickly. Not the right tone for a symphony.
In my opinion, his firing of the NSO's principal French Horn emeritus Theodore Thayer was the epitome of stupidity. Thayer hung on at the NSO for a few more years by taking the fourth chair position. To force any musician to move from principal to fourth chair because of their age shows a level of ignorance not usually seen outside of Congress.

Slatkin has left quite a trail of destruction - The NSO, fired from the BBC Proms after one summer, the Met, .... he's the only conductor I know with a body count.

Posted by: wiccan333 | April 10, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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