We have received the following account of recent events from the Romanian conductor Tiberiu Soare, formerly interim general manager of the Bucharest National Opera. If you have any questions for him, post them in Comments.
Hello everybody! This is the dark and sinister “maestro” Soare writing here. … Let me introduce myself: I was indeed a permanent conductor at the National Opera House here, in Bucharest for 8 years, between 2005 and 2013. I was competing then with four other gifted young conductors, who are still among my friends and colleagues. I have conducted here over 120 performances (both opera and ballet titles), among which over 10 premieres (Don Pasquale, Mefistofele by Boito, Oedipe by Enesco, Swan Lake, etc.). In time, I’ve became very good friend with many of the artists here: soloists, orchestra and choir members, dancers, and so on. We’ve really felt like an artistic family here!
I’ve left this position (at my own will!) in April 2013, when the management of Razvan Ioan Dinca made very clear for me that this was not a place for me to stay anymore. Between 2012-2015 I’ve held also the position of Principal Conductor at the National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Romania. I was also visiting professor at the National University of Music for some years (orchestra conducting/score analysis). I was born here, in Bucharest (1977) in a good but not very rich family.
I’ve never have had any pollitical connections in my life (in fact I’m not interested at all in this matter and I don’t vote, as a personal option). Useless to say, never have met mayor Negoita in my existence (I really don’t know why this should be something infamant, maybe he is an honourable person, I really don’t know). The concert you’re pointing at was hosted by a cultural foundation financed by the city authorities, indeed, but this is normal here in Romania: the state supports classical music from public funds, you may ask any romanian musician. I’m quite a normal person: driving my eight year son (Alexandru) at school in the morning, studying orchestra scores during nights (I really love spending time with Mozart, Mahler, Enesco and the rest of the pack), meeting friends and reading good books (by the way, I’m honoured to be hosted here by Mr. Norman Lebrecht: his tremendous writing “Why Mahler” is on a shelve in my study room, full of coffee stains and adnotations).
Speaking about books, I’ve also wrote two: “What are we going to the Opera for?” and, very recently, “Nine musical stories” (some personal impressions about meeting great composers via their music scores, not encyclopedias). I don’t remember ever hating somebody, but I do love any musician and artist. And Opera: for me it’s the everlasting spiritual home. I can say that I breathe Opera.
Now, let me explain some minor details: first of all, one month ago I was invited by the Ministry of Culture to take over ad interim this general manager post. That meant that I’ve blew over my entire life (cutting off my concerts in the near future, saying good-bye for a while to my loved music scores and books and really missing my boy and my family for entire days). Anyway, studying the institutional structure like an orchestra score (analysis professor, remember?) I’ve found out here many wrong things. I admire any gifted artist (Kobborg and Alina included) but this is not about Art: it’s about public money, law and my signature under them. I’ve decided not to assume something wich I’ve considered not right. I’ve never fired anybody, just forbidding Mr. Kobborg to use fictive titles on a public site. That’s all. Never threatened any artist, never discussing about nationality or race.
Furthermore, there are many issues that I’ve dealt with, not only de “Artistic Director (Ballet)” thing. For example: about 11 million euros spent on a major renovation of our Opera House few years ago. The whole work stopped unfinished just before the presidential elections in November 2014. The money-gone, the building- a shame. Any suggestions? I could go on like this for long, maybe I’ll find time to write you again. Let me say this: I’m a honest musician, not a monster. And I don’t care about image wars: I’m the first to admit that it’s not a great thing this what I’m trying to do here, but don’t judge me. Try to be sure that you have the whole picture first. And then we can have a decent dialogue. All the best!
You may wish to refresh memory with an independent account of events from Bucharest blogger, Despre Opera (in English) here.