Italian conductor Nicola Luisotti has been music director of San Francisco Opera since the fall of 2009 and holds the Caroline H. Hume Endowed Chair. In the current season he has already led Mefistofele and Falstaff, as well as a special presentation of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem; he leads Madama Butterfly and La Traviata this spring. Luisotti also serves as music director of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and his engagements with that company include Aida and Otello this season. The maestro’s other engagements in the current season include Don Giovanni and Turandot at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and a concert with the orchestra of Turin’s Teatro Regio. Called “both an original thinker and a great respecter of tradition” by Opera News, which featured him on the cover of the July 2011 special issue on conductors, Luisotti made his Company debut in 2005 conducting La Forza del Destino and returned in November 2008 to conduct La Bohème. As the Company’s music director, he has led acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore, Salome, Otello, La Fanciulla del West, Aida, Le Nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, Lohengrin, Tosca, and Così fan tutte. Maestro Luisotti has garnered enthusiastic praise from both audiences and critics for his work at La Scala (Attila), the Royal Opera, Covent Garden (Aida, Turandot, Madama Butterfly, Il Trovatore, Nabucco); the Metropolitan Opera (La Bohème, Tosca, La Fanciulla del West); Paris Opera (La Traviata, Tosca); the Vienna State Opera (Simon Boccanegra); Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice (Un Ballo in Maschera, La Fanciulla del West, La Traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Il Viaggio a Reims); Venice’s La Fenice (Madama Butterfly); Munich’s Bavarian State Opera (Macbeth, Tosca); Frankfurt Opera (Il Trittico); Madrid’s Teatro Real (Il Trovatore, La Damnation de Faust, Mefistofele); Los Angeles Opera (Carmen, Pagliacci); Dresden’s Semperoper (Tosca, Die Zauberflöte); Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company (Un Ballo in Maschera); Seattle Opera (Macbeth); Bologna’s Teatro Comunale (Salome); Valencia’s Palau de les Arts (Mefistofele); and in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall (Turandot, Tosca, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte). Maestro Luisotti was awarded the 39th Premio Puccini Award in conjunction with the historic 100th anniversary of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West at the Metropolitan Opera, which he conducted last season.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Luisotti served as principal guest conductor of the Tokyo Symphony from 2009 to 2012 and has also established growing relationships with the orchestras of London (Philharmonia Orchestra), Genoa, Budapest, Turin, Munich (Bavarian Radio Orchestra), Palermo, and Rome (Santa Cecilia Orchestra), as well as the Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, and the Atlanta Symphony. The conductor’s discography includes a complete recording of Stiffelio (Dynamic) with the orchestra of Trieste’s Teatro Verdi and the critically acclaimed Duets (Deutsche Grammophon), featuring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. He is also on the podium of a DVD recording of the Met’s La Bohème, with Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas (EMI).