The 2025/2026 season of the Teatro Real will start with a new musical director. “ Master Gustavo Gimeno will take charge . A new position will also be created, that of director emeritus, which will be occupied by Nicola Luisotti”, the president of the Royal Theater, Gregorio Marañón, announced this Thursday. Gimeno replaces Ivor Bolton , who had held the position since the 2015/2016 season.
“It may seem a bit alien to announce something for the 2025/2026 season, but in an opera house times are what they are. These things are approved by the board and, if we don’t explain it, someone leaks it and we’d have a mess. It is better that if it has already been decided, let’s say so”, clarified Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real.
Gimeno, who conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, is one of the most international Spanish conductors. And his debut at the Teatro Real has been a crush. It was precisely this season, that of 2021/2022, when he premiered for the first time in Spain The Angel of Fire , by Sergei Prokofiev.”Little or nothing I could imagine what would happen,” he has told now. “I felt like family, at home. I love opera and bringing a new production to life, but above all I am passionate about teamwork. I am looking forward to returning and continuing to grow with them.”
Gimeno has not advanced the type of repertoire that he will tackle from 2025 in Madrid. “There are general lines of work, but there is nothing concrete and even less so at this stage. I am not going to define anything, but to try to grow together with the people around me”, he has advanced. For his part, Luisotti, future director emeritus of the Theatre, also had a few words for Gimeno. “The Teatro Real needed a Spanish director. And a theater also needs young energy and Gustavo has it, as well as ideas and quality. He is a sophisticated director. I love it and I think he loved me. We’re going to make a great team.”
Luisotti’s cover letter can still be enjoyed at the Teatro Real. Until July 22, he is in charge of the musical direction of Nabucco . It had been 151 years since this Verdi opera had been performed at the Real and Luisotti is managing to get encores from the choir and applause for several minutes after the famous Va pensiero .
In July 2025, the contract of the current musical director of the Ivor Bolton Coliseum ended, but also that of Pablo Heras-Casado and that of Luisotti himself, who are and will continue to be the main guest conductors for the next two years. “Ivor’s work has been exceptional, I want to express my infinite gratitude. Also that of Heras and that of Luisotti.
We have a much better orchestra than we had and this is due to the work they are doing”, Matabosch wanted to emphasize. Bolton has been at the helm of the musical direction for eight seasons, a few years also of good news for the Teatro Real, such as the recognition of the best company in the world for its 2019 programmingat the International Opera Awards. The end of Bolton’s contract in 2025 does not mean that she will disappear from the theater. She will be present, like Heras-Casado, with a title every year and a half, as explained by the artistic director.
We will have to wait to find out what new bets both Gimeno and Luisotti will bring, but the latter does point in a clear direction: “We continue with music, which is the most beautiful thing in the world.”