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BSO music director Andris Nelsons and Kristine Opolais have divorced

Andris Nelsons (left) and his wife, soprano Kristine Opolais, performing together in 2014. Niklas Elmehed

Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons and his wife, the celebrated soprano Kristine Opolais, announced Tuesday they have divorced. The couple shared the news on their respective websites — and — and the BSO issued a statement.

“Sharing, with regret, that Andris Nelsons and Kristine Opolais have divorced following seven years of marriage. Both Mr. Nelsons and Ms. Opolais are united in putting their daughter at the center of their private lives. With complete respect and admiration for one another, Mr. Nelsons and Ms. Opolais look forward to continuing their artistic relationship together. The family asks for privacy at this time and no further comments will be given.”


Nelsons, who is Latvian, was named the music director of the BSO in May 2013, succeeding James Levine.

The couple first came together at the Latvian National Opera, where Nelsons was music director and Opolais was a chorister, later rising to soloist. Nelsons, who was married at the time, told the Globe in 2016 that he first became romantically interested in Opolais during a 2004 performance of Tatyana’s “Letter Scene” from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” Opolais, who’d divorced after a brief marriage at 21, described her attraction to the maestro in terms of destiny. “Andris was the first man with whom I saw my future,” she said. “I knew he has to be the father of my baby.”

The couple, who shared a home in their native Latvia, were married in 2011 and have one daughter, Adriana. Over the next seven years, Nelsons’s career took off, as he became music director at the BSO and later also at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. Meanwhile Opolais gained increasing attention with regular engagements on some of the world’s great stages, including the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.


The pair, who were often portrayed as one of classical music’s power couples, frequently performed together. As recently as February, Nelsons conducted the BSO in Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony, with Opolais as a soloist. According to Globe critic Jeremy Eichler, she “sang with a coolly lustrous tone and at times a fierce dramatic intensity, bringing a quasi-operatic sense of character and drama to individual songs.”

They are currently scheduled to perform in London in June, and are set to perform “La Boheme” at Tanglewood in July. They are also scheduled to perform at Symphony Hall in late February and early March of 2019.

A BSO spokesperson said on Tuesday that their split would not affect future performances with the orchestra.

Opolais, who is known for her dramatic stage presence, once described to the Globe the unpredictability of love. “How can you say to someone I am with you forever?” she asked. “The maximum you can say is this is my wish for now. This is how I feel now, and I wish I will feel it forever.”

Malcolm Gay can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @malcolmgay. Mark Shanahan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan