The Royal Opera House has announced that Antonio Pappano will not be able to conduct Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur next January, as he is suffering acute tendonitis in his elbow.
Pappano, the ROH’s music director, recently conducted Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Covent Garden to great acclaim, and has also conducted productions of Berlioz’s Les Troyens and Verdi’s Otello as well as various concerts and events over the past few months. This intense workload has exacerbated his tendonitis and so, in order to recover properly, he has been advised by his doctors to withdraw from Birtwistle’s opera.
Pappano says he is ‘deeply disappointed’ at having to leave the production, which he conducted during its debut four years ago. His place will be taken by conductor and composer Ryan Wigglesworth, himself a big enthusiast of The Minotaur since hearing it during that first run.
Wigglesworth, one of the leading figures in London’s contemporary music scene, recently conducted the Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican Centre in performances of works by Oliver Knussen and has also has been appointed composer-in-residence at English National Opera.