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Georges Prêtre

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Title: Georges Prêtre  
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Georges Prêtre

Georges Prêtre (French pronunciation: ​; born 14 August 1924) is a French orchestral and opera conductor.


  • Biography 1
  • Awards 2
  • External links 3
  • References 4


He was born in Opéra de Marseille in 1946. He also conducted at the opera houses in Lille and Toulouse. His Paris debut was at the Opéra-Comique in Richard Strauss's Capriccio. He was director of the Opéra-Comique 1955–1959. He conducted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago 1959–1971. He was conductor, 1959, and music director 1970–1971, at the Paris Opéra. He was principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony 1986–1991.

His Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut came in 1961, with first appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, and La Scala, Milan, later in the 1960s. He worked with Maria Callas on a number of occasions, and made recordings of Carmen and Tosca with her.

Aside from opera, Prêtre is best known for performances of French music, having conducted long and difficult works like Virgil Fox and the Paris Opera Orchestra.

He conducted the La Scala Orchestra in Franco Zeffirelli's 1982 film versions of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.[1] Both films starred Plácido Domingo. In 2009, at the age of 85, he returned to these two Italian operas in the Roman amphitheater at Orange, for televised performances starring Roberto Alagna.

Prêtre has conducted the Vienna New Year's Concert twice, in 2008 and in 2010.[2] He is the only French conductor to have been appointed for this role so far.[3]

Prêtre married Gina Marny in 1950, and they have two children (one son, one daughter). Interests include riding, swimming, aviation, judo, and karate.


External links

  • Georges Prêtre on IMDB


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  • International Dictionary of Opera. St. James Press, 1993
  • International Who's Who. 2004
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