Foster’s contract, for four years, comes just in time for Marseilles as it will be a “European Cultural Capitol” for the year 2013 and the cultural institutions will be in the international spotlight. He is scheduled for fifteen weeks in the Mediterranean port city originally founded by the Phoenicians and will conduct, along with concerts, two productions at the Opéra. He is currently at the Opéra in Marseilles conducting a new production of Henri Sauguet’s “La Chatreuse de Parme” which opens tonight.
Marseilles is either the second or third largest city in France, depending on whether you ask someone from Lyon or Marseilles. Foster will conduct the January concert inaugurating the 2013 festivities in Marseilles with violinist Laurent Korcia. Along with the appointment of Foster, the city also named Italian conductor Fabrizio Maria Carminati as the principal guest conductor.
Foster, 69, continues as the musical director of the Foundation Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon. He has been conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Aspen Festival, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Jerusalem and Houston.