Breaking: Riccardo Muti gives up Rome Opera

Breaking: Riccardo Muti gives up Rome Opera


norman lebrecht

September 21, 2014

After a season when the company teetered on the brink of shutdown, the music director has given up.

riccardo muti solemn

Sovrintendente Carlo Fuortes communicates with great regret that the Maestro Riccardo Muti has decided to give up the leadership of the two operas Aida and The Marriage of Figaro in the next season of the Teatro dell ‘ Opera. Maestro Muti attributes this painful decision in his letter to a “persistence of the problems that have emerged during the last few days.”

Italian source here.






  • David says:

    To lose one opera job may be regarded as misfortune, to lose both seems like carelessness.

    • sdReader says:

      Not funny. Not accurate.

      • Sam says:

        He did not “lose” either. La Scala was overblown by press. When the ushers strike against the music director, it means that there was something political going on and not an issue of the conductor artistically/personally.

        For this in Rome, the Rome Opera is just not fiscally stable, if anything teetering on collapse. He wasn’t a full music director, so this is understandable.

    • Sam says:

      Let’s also remember that his relationship with the Chicago Symphony is still incredibly strong and growing stronger every day. They say it’s a love-fest there. I don’t think Muti is to blame for this situation.

  • sdReader says:

    He will go to the Wiener Staatsoper!

    • sdReader says:

      … I speculate.

      His words are careful, as always:

      “At this time I intend to dedicate myself, in Italy, above all on the Orchestra Cherubini.”

      This keeps the door open for perhaps an occasional production at Rome Opera after the 2014-15 season. He presumably remains Honorary Director for Life, or whatever his exact title is.

      But Wien must be ready with open arms. The musicians adore him. The house will do whatever he wants, without the headaches of Rome.

      • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

        There are Viennese headaches in Vienna, they have no need for the sort currently enjoyed in Rome.

        • sdReader says:

          They need the world’s best Verdi conductor, who hasn’t conducted Verdi for them in 31 years.

          If you think they wouldn’t bend over backwards to fix that, you don’t understand.

          The Rome headaches originate with the sindicati.

  • Novagerio says:

    Of course, they simply ran out of money….

  • Tristan says:

    he won’t go to Wiener Staatsoper and let’s be honest, Roma was never a great opera company. La Scala is the main house and hopefully won’t be entirely ruined by Alexander Pereira who left a mess in Salzburg. La Scala will see what they got…Roma will become again a provincial opera house…people never understand that the cnductor is by far most important in an opera and that is why London with Pappano and Munich with Petrenko war by far the best places at the moment plus Jordan and Opera Bastille in Paris. Barenboim is also overrated and his RING at La Scaa was moderate.

    • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

      Dear Tristan, Rome Opera has improved remarkably, both musically and artistically, under Muti’s rule (and with the effective help of staff he got to place in the house). His approach is that of an autocrat who insists on the control of every single detail of a production and performance. Such thing may be regarded as outdated, but for Rome it was the medicine which the Opera badly needed. In addition, Muti developed consistency in the repertoire, with focus on Italian opera performed in the best way possible. A tiny union balked at the contract upon which everyone else in the house had agreed, thus ensuring that Rome Opera is destined to either close or languish in obscurity. I prefer the first. After that, I’d be happy to wait and see whether Rome will be capable of re-founding its opera company. Meanwhile, I am off to La Fenice soon, to catch the last performance of a string of Trovatores this coming Sunday aftrenoon. Glad to be in Venice instead of Rome.

      • sdReader says:

        ” … thus ensuring that Rome Opera is destined to either close or languish in obscurity.”

        Illogical conclusion.

        And why do you prefer it to close, causing lay-offs? Because you can’t get there from San Francisco without a conference tie-in?

        Enjoy your non-obscure Fenice “Trovatore” sung by Kunde and led by Rustioni.

      • sdReader says:

        Also, Edgar, Rome Opera was re-founded as a “national” entity last season, largely with Muti’s help, which is one of the reasons he is upset.

        You must not have been paying attention.

  • Herrera says:

    He will take over Welser-Most’s new production of Rigoletto in December 2014 – January 2015.