Conductor Bernard Labadie made a triumphant debut at the Metropolitan Opera last week, leading performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Labadie is the first of two ATMA artists and Canadian conductors to make their Met debuts this season: fellow Québecker Yannick Nézet-Séguin steps up to the Met podium for the first time on New Year’s Eve.
Labadie is well-known for founding the Juno Award-winning Les Violons du Roy, an ensemble praised for its period-informed performances on modern instruments. Labadie’s period-friendly approach to Mozart’s 18th century opera proved extremely successful with Manhattan opera buffs, according to the Globe and Mail review of last week’s opening night performance: “The Metropolitan Opera audience … rose to its feet and cheered for Wednesday night's Magic Flute. And front and centre to receive the enthusiastic curtain-calls was Canadian conductor Bernard Labadie. With this performance, the 46-year-old maestro made his Met debut, leading a spirited performance of Mozart's popular 1791 allegory.”