By María D. Valderrama
Paris, Apr 16 (EFE).- Venezuelan musician Gustavo Dudamel on Friday became the new musical director of the Paris Opera for the next six seasons, an adventure that he says he assumes with honor and desire to contribute with a vision of transformation and inclusion.
Dudamel will maintain his position as the head of the Simón Bolívar Symphony of Venezuela, although he has not set foot in the country since he expressed his dissatisfaction with Nicolas Maduro’s regime in 2017, and the head of Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The artist was a product of the revolutionary National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, founded in 1975 by his mentor, José Antonio Abreu.
Inspired by that model, he launched his own project, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, to offer children from disadvantaged communities in LA a chance to get into the arts. He sees similar opportunities in Paris.
“The Paris Opera has some very interesting educational programs, I want to expand or enrich them with the System’s programs, which are a fundamental part of my DNA,” Dudamel told Efe in a statement.
The Venezuelan believes that his contribution to the Paris Opera, which celebrated its 350th anniversary in 2019, will help it evolve and keep it in line with the times.
“The new generations perhaps see art as something very distant, inaccessible, that is not interesting,” lamented Dudamel, who explained that his goal will be to make that generation identify with what art is: “Our own identity and access to beauty .”
For Paris, it is a groundbreaking appointment and proof that it is doubling down on its efforts to open the world of the arts to audiences, especially youngsters, who often find themselves excluded.
“We want to work with new composers, choreographers, directors, and make the Paris Opera also a platform for the future,” Dudamel said.
Now, as the first Latino to head the musical direction of Paris, a position he will formally assume on 1 August, he will alternate his duties between Los Angeles and Paris, where he is already preparing symphonic concerts, the opera Turandot, by Puccini, and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro.EFE