PARIS — Paris Opera’s principal conductor, James Conlon, has stepped down as director of Rolf Liebermann’s “Medea” because of illness, the opera said in a statement Monday.
Conlon, who underwent hernia surgery on Jan. 25, will be replaced by Swiss conductor Daniel Klajner, the musical director at the Wurzburg Opera in Germany. Klajner directed the Swiss production of “Medea” at the Stadtstheater in Berne.
Conlon will resume conducting at the end of February, according to a statement issued by his publicist in New York on Monday.
Five performances of “Medea” are scheduled in February and on March 1 at the Opera Bastille.
Conlon, an American citizen, has conducted about 20 operas in his six years as the Paris Opera’s principal conductor, 15 of which were new productions. He announced in September that he’s leaving his job at the end of his contract in July 2004.
He first appeared with the New York Philharmonic in 1974, and since then has appeared with nearly every major North American and European orchestra. He also has conducted more than 200 performances at New York’s Metropolitan Opera since his 1976 debut.