Breaking: Danish opera chief quits over deep cuts

Breaking: Danish opera chief quits over deep cuts


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2017

Sven Müller, who succeeded Keith Warner as artistic director of the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, has resigned over the same issue – savage cuts.

The Government wants to reduce the orchestra musicians to 75 percent contracts and shed several jobs.

Report here (in Danish).

Copenhagen has an eye-catching 2005 opera house it never needed and cannot afford to cast a season.

Where’s Borgen when you really need her?


  • Sue says:

    “Eye catching”? It’s staggeringly beautiful and leaves Sydney Opera House for dead. I’ve done a tour inside and that’s pretty amazing too. The man who owned Mersk shipping line built it for the people from his own funds!!! He even had the seats in his own office (in his 90s) to try them all, different shapes and sizes, for comfort.

    • Maria says:

      “It’s staggeringly beautiful and leaves Sydney Opera House for dead.”

      A matter of opinion. Without the “lid” it would be very ordinary indeed.

      From a distance, I would say that nothing comes close to Sydney.

      • Sue says:

        Wrong. SOH is rather tatty inside these days, with grubby concrete looking rather inelegant, shabby and aged. The Danish OH is phenomenal; I presume you’ve been in there and sat on the luxury seats yourself!! Besides, SOH is not fit for purpose.

        Over-rated beyond belief. The ‘backstage’ area is a series of rabbit warrens.

  • Michael Endres says:

    Not surprising really…

  • Nick says:

    Wasn’t it reported here only a matter of 9 months or so ago that the Foundation whose funds built the Opera house had donated a high “three figure million” sum spread over 4 years to make up for the government cuts? Are these yet more cuts?

    • Peter says:

      No, apparently it’s the same cuts, just implemented a bit differently, now hitting the orchestra harder.

      Maersk, the Danish shipping magnate, has made billions and billions of blood money from major logistics contracts with the US army for their bloody wars in Iraq and elsewhere. He should donate all of his profits to find some kind of redemption, neocon war profiteer he is.

      It’s great he is donating some of it, but it could be more.

      • Ellingtonia says:

        “Blood money”………..for providing a commercial service, employing thousands of people and making a major contribution to the countries economy. Only a lunatic “Corbynista” could come out with such a pathetic comment, suggest you get your Casto cap, Arafat scarf out and get on a few more demos……..there, there, that will make you feel better.

        • Craig says:

          Who’s Casto? He sounds like a jolly fellow…

        • Steven Holloway says:

          Your first sentence reads like a perfect plug for the military-industrial complex. Forget Corbyn, Castro and Arafat — it was Dwight Eisenhower who warned of the dangers of that complex in his Farewell Address as President in January, 1961. Unhappily, it didn’t exactly hit home, as we have seen in recent years, most notably in the case of the Iraq invasion. Note well ties between that and Halliburton, etc., as you do your research.

          In addition, just a note re the post. Borgen is not a person, neither him nor her. It is a common name for the Christiansborg Palace, the seat of Denmark’s government. I think it may be Brigitte Nyland, focus of the eponymous series, NL has in mind, perhaps aptly, perhaps not — that was one point of the series, as those who watched the series will know.

          • Ellingtonia says:

            My first sentence is simply a statement about how capitalism works and nothing to do with any military-industrial complex (whatever that means?). As regards your second paragraph, perhaps an explanation in simple English of the “point” you are trying to make.

          • Peter says:

            Yes “Ellingtonia’, and capitalism without ethics, as in war profiteering, is very evil. No tin foil hats or communist leanings necessary. Just simple human ethics.
            Read US General Smedley Butler’s great essay “War is a racket” from about hundred years ago to understand what we are talking about here.
            Maersk Corp. is a major profiteer of bloody and illegal US wars, that devastated the Middle East for decades, killed hundreds of thousands innocent people, and brought misery to a multitude, particularly women.

          • Steven Holloway says:

            Well, Ellingtonia, for a simple comment on how capitalism works, your words read an awful lot like a politically-motivated defence thereof! Further, your contribution is far more about the military-industrial complex than about capitalism in general, though you may not realize it.

            I have no idea why you can’t understand my second paragraph which, as I wrote, is directed at the post, not at you. NL writes, “Where’s Borgen when you really need her?” He is alluding to a TV series of that name and, it seems, confuses the setting (Christiansborg Palace, aka Borgen) with the main character, a female politician. Hence my observation that Borgen is a place, not a person. If you haven’t seen the series and know naught of Denmark, this need not concern you at all.

        • Sue says:

          Spot on! And, besides, the man died several years ago so it’s unlikely he’s in a position to ‘donate’ more. What he gave was pretty exceptional in the first place.

      • Pianofortissimo says:

        Vital cultural institutions in Europe need a bllod transfusion. More bllod Money, please!