- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Conductor Valery Gergiev is giving up some frequent flier miles and taking a few days off.

He canceled his performance of “Boris Godunov” at the Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday night and was replaced by Pavel Smelkov. The Met said in a statement that Gergiev was “suffering from exhaustion and resting in St. Petersburg.”

“He is not in condition to conduct at the moment. It’s really an exhaustion from the stresses of a lot of trans-Atlantic travel,” his agent, R. Douglas Sheldon of Columbia Artists, said.

Gergiev conducted “Ariadne auf Naxos” on Tuesday night at the Mariinsky Theater in Russia, where he is artistic and general director.

“It sounds silly, but now you know why he’s not feeling well,” Sheldon said.

He had planned to travel to New York on Wednesday morning, conduct “Boris,” return to St. Petersburg and conduct “Ariadne” on Thursday night, then conduct “Boris” at the Met on Saturday afternoon.

According to Sheldon, Gergiev will be replaced by Christian Knapp on Thursday. Gergiev is slated to conduct “Boris” at the Met on Saturday afternoon, a performance scheduled for radio broadcast.

“He said, `I will make every effort to be there on Saturday,’” Sheldon said.

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