Many people who attend symphonic orchestra, or even an opera, often remark on the skill it takes to play the musical instruments that produce the sound, or how beautiful the singers’ voices are as they sing an aria. What many people don’t really mention (unless they are true classical music buffs) is the skill of the opera conductor. One of the most famous conductors of all time is James Levine, and this article will tell you why he is considered to be one of the best conductors that the Metropolitan Opera ever had.
According to many aficionados in the music scene, one of the reasons why James Levine continues to be one of the most talented people in the Opera’s troupe is because of the sheer length of his career, and the ample experience that comes with performing for over 40 years. Levine began his long career as a conductor in the Metropolitan Opera in 1971, making him one of the most experienced people who the Opera has in its troupe. In his time, he has managed to conduct over 80 operas at the Met, as well as about 2,500 performances.
Still, experience alone cannot dictate what makes an excellent composer. It is Levine’s uncanny ability to take a look at a composition piece and be able to understand the nuances, emotions, and sounds that the composer has been trying to convey. A great conductor can breathe life into even the most challenging of pieces, making it a unique work of art that is performed once in a lifetime by an orchestra that is in perfect synchrony with one another. No two opera performances are alike, and it is the conductor’s job to make sure that it is a performance that is burned into the memories of the patrons.
People who have witnessed James Levine conduct a symphony or an opera have used a variety of adjectives to describe the way he does it. Some have called it elegant. Others have called it graceful. No matter what terms they use to describe the work of James Levine, the fact is that he conducts his performances with a level of elegance that denotes his unique talent. He communicates with his musicians with both words, and by gestures – even to the point of using facial expressions. His conductor work alone is a performance in itself, and it’s one that is not to be missed.
Of course, there will always be recognition and awards for excellent talent – especially if it comes with over 40 years of performing in some of the most highly esteemed circles in the world of classical music. There are very few people who can say that they have they have received a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance, but James Levine can say he has. Better still, Levine continues to conduct music for those same illustrious groups, even though he is in his seventies. Now, that’s what you call dedication to your musical art!