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Conductor Zubin Mehta sidelined by shoulder operation

November 29, 2017

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2015 file photo, conductor Zubin Mehta appears with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra during the traditional New Year's concert at the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Milan’s La Scala announced on Wednesday Nov. 29, 2017, a shoulder operation is forcing conductor Zubin Mehta to take a break for at least three months and the famed opera house to change its lineup. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

MILAN (AP) — Milan’s La Scala said Wednesday that a shoulder operation is forcing conductor Zubin Mehta to take a break for at least three months and the famed opera house to change its lineup.

The theater announced substitute conductors for a concert of waltzes and a performance of the Strauss opera “Die Fledermaus” scheduled for January.

A third engagement, a benefit concert for a foundation in India scheduled for February, will be postponed until Mehta is well enough to conduct.

Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the waltzes. German conductor Cornelius Meister, artistic director of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, will take over “Die Fledermaus.”

The 81-year-old Mehta plans to retire next fall from his position as music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

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