On the eve of his last production, the outgoing music director is interviewed this morning by Anna Picard for the Times (firewall).
Two key quotes:
I said to them, if you can find £750,000 to protect the full-time chorus, I will stay. When I discovered that was not an option, I began to wonder whether the choice was neither financial nor artistic but political. And once I felt it might have been a political choice, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to continue.
I don’t think it is ever naive to stand up for what you believe in. I felt a huge responsibility to try and protect the musicians and the musical qualities of the company. I cannot imagine a music director who cares about his musicians feeling any different.
Defending the musical quality of the organisation is the job. It stands to reason that when you can no longer maintain that defence, you are no longer able to do your job. I have lost the debate, and am incredibly sad about that, both for myself and for what I believe to be the needs of the company.