Met Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo to Step Down | Playbill

Classic Arts News Met Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo to Step Down

Palumbo will depart at the end of the current season, after nearly two decades with the institution.

Donald Palumbo and the Met chorus rehearse in List Hall. Jonathan Tichler / Met Opera

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo has announced his intention to resign at the end of the current season from the post he has held for the past 17 years. A search for Palumbo's successor will take place over the coming season.

Before joining the Met, Palumbo served as chorus master at Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1991-2007. He has also held the post of chorus master at the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the Dallas Opera, and was the first American to serve as chorus director of the Salzburg Festival, a position which he held from 1999-2001.

Met General Manager Peter Gelb said in a statement, "When I became General Manager in 2006, one of my first artistic missions was to secure the services of Donald Palumbo as the Met’s Chorus Master since he was widely considered to be the very best. His work at the Met over the past 17 years more than lived up to our expectations. Under his leadership, the Met Chorus now has no equal."

Palumbo added, "I must express my admiration and thanks to everyone I have worked with at the Metropolitan Opera over the past 17 years. The administrative and musical staff, the singers, the Met Orchestra under its brilliant Music Director Yannick, and the crew of this theatre are without equal. I thank Peter Gelb for his unwavering support. The Met Chorus has provided the greatest joy for me as they tirelessly rehearsed and performed to achieve the acclaim they so justly deserve. I look forward to continuing to work with the next generation of singers."

Palumbo will continue to work with the Metropolitan Opera in future seasons on select operas, while also continuing on the faculty of the Juilliard School, where he began teaching in 2016.

The Metropolitan Opera's 2023-2024 season will open next week with the Met premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Dead Man Walking, directed by Ivo van Hove. The season's opening week will continue with performances of Verdi's Requiem and Nabucco, both of which are considered showcases for the opera's chorus. Nabucco features one of operatic literature's most famous choruses, "Va, pensiero," which is often encored in performances at the Met.


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