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Conductor Fabio Luisi a good bet for the Met

(Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times) The days when opera conductors made front-page news would seem to have been long supplanted by today’s pop-saturated sense of arts and culture.

That it’s a rather buttoned-down, bookish and bespectacled, pug-owning Northern Italian father of three, relatively unknown until recently in many major cities, who has been bucking the tendency to sideline reporting on the classical world only makes Fabio Luisi’s current run of publicity all the more unexpected.

Over the last year, Luisi, 52, found himself increasingly called on by New York’s Metropolitan Opera to step in — often with very short notice — for the company’s longtime music director James Levine as the former artistic leader of the Ravinia Festival found himself plagued by one physical ailment or accident after another.