Just in: Veteran opera director is fired for ‘unacceptable behaviour’

April 20, 2018 by norman lebrecht


We hear that Peter Konwitschny, one of the most respected German directors, has been sacked by Gothenburg Opera three days before the opening of his production of Boris Godunov.

The company’s CEO, Christina Björklund, said his behaviour had been unacceptable. ‘There were no grey areas,’ she told Swedish Radio. ‘I feel comfortable with this decision.’

The tipping point was an incident during the dress rehearsal on Tuesday night when Konwitschny began screaming at a trumpet player who was warming up in the pit. His outburst was witnessed by a childrens’ choir.

Konwitschy, 73, was removed from the rehearsal and fired the next day.

UPDATE: Konwitschny: I was confronted by the Inquisition.

Comments (14)

  1. Gottfried Fischer says:

    The trumpet player deserved what he got.

    1. Caravaggio says:

      Or … the Regie (in theater) boomeranging home to roost.

    2. Mark J Henriksen says:


      1. Gottfried Fischer says:

        His ‘warming up’ was him playing one note as loudly as possible to disrupt conversations etc.

        1. Gottfried Reiche says:

          Mr. Fischer. Were you there when this happened?

    3. Gottfried Reiche says:

      Were you there, Mr. Fischer?

  2. Anon says:


    1. Pianofortissimo says:

      No, not snow flakes. Rattle snakes.

  3. Leo says:

    Many would say otherwise.

    1. Michael Vaccaro says:


  4. Jaime Herrera says:

    Is this guy related to Toscanini or Rodzinski? Conductors have not been allowed to scream at players since at least 1965, especially unionized players. What was this guy thinking?

    1. Novagerio says:

      In fact, he is the son of a conductor: Franz Konwitschny (1901-1962), former Gewandhaus Kapellmeister, affectionately called “Con-whisky” due to his fondness for the distilled beverage.

  5. Gottfried Reiche says:

    The question remains. Were you there, Mr. Fischer?

  6. Supertenor says:

    He was quite angry! Bad of both I think!
    He could have been more diplomatic! And the trumpet guy didnt need to
    practise during the applause reherseal when the orchestra had a break,

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