Deep in the pit of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City, Emmanuel Ceysson says he feels right at home. It might be thousands of miles from his last job at the Paris Opera, an ocean away from his French homeland, but Ceysson says everything about the city and the Met suits him. Evidently he suits the Met as well, as United States’ premier opera house extended tenure to him this spring, after less than one full season on the job.
We asked Ceysson’s colleague Elizabeth Hainen, principal harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, to sit down for a conversation with Ceysson during the Philadelphia Orchestra’s trip to New York in May to perform at Carnegie Hall. We think it’s safe to say Ceysson is settling in quite well.
Harp Column: Congratulations—you just finished your first whole season with the Met and you just received your tenure, right?
Emmanuel Ceysson: Yes, yes.
HC: What is that [tenure]process like with the Met?
EC: Usually, tenure at the Met happens after two seasons, two complete seasons with the orchestra. But in some particular cases, like mine, they allow early tenure, and that is what happened. Basically, I had my job at the Paris Opera and had been on a leave of absence for a year, which is called a sabbatical. [That means] if I wanted, I could go back to Paris next season. [The Met] obviously didn’t want that, so I met with [Met Music Director] James Levine two weeks ago, just before the last show of Simon Boccanegra, and he told me that I got tenure. It’s perfect because I always wanted to stay here, that was never a question, but I wanted be sure I got a job as stable as I had in Paris.