His master’s stick: Bogdan inserts new music director at Vienna Opera

His master’s stick: Bogdan inserts new music director at Vienna Opera


norman lebrecht

July 31, 2017

Today’s press release announcing Philippe Jordan’s appointment as music director of the Vienna State Opera from September 2020 makes it clear that the appointment is by order of Bogdan Roscic, the incoming general director.

Unusually, the statement was issued not by the Staatsoper itself but by ‘Leisure Communications’ acting on behalf of ‘the Büro des designierten Direktors.’ Bogdan is acting as if he’s already in charge.

His statement reads: ‘Philippe Jordan wurde als Musikdirektor der Wiener Staatsoper ab 1. September 2020 verpflichtet. Das gab der designierte Direktor Bogdan Roščić am Montag, 31. Juli 2017, bekannt. Neben der Leitung von Neuproduktionen und Repertoire-Vorstellungen wird Jordan als Mitglied der Direktion den gesamten musikalischen Bereich des Hauses leiten und strukturell mitgestalten.’

Philippe Jordan, 42, is presently music director of the Opéra national de Paris since 2009 and chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. A Swiss, from Zurich, he is the son of the Suisse Romande cnductor, Armin Jordan.

He is known to the members of the Vienna Philarmonic and will have obtained their approval before accepting the post. But despite Bogdan’s fine promises, he will be powerless in an institution where all authority rests in the general director’s office.

And Bogdan’s announcement is both presumptuous and extremely rude to the present administration. But that’s what the future looks like in Vienna.



  • Olassus says:

    Wow, a Frenchman in charge in Wien. A first?

  • Sue says:

    Dominique Meyer. France.

  • Hermann Lederer says:

    First of all: he is – as correctly said – Swiss – not French.
    Second: the designated manager acted very correct; The “Pressebüro” der Staatsoper is only for announcements of the actual management – and ….. it is closed. Vienna opera – as anybody knows – is in deep sleep until September 1st.
    Third: Jordans Manager is really not famous for weak contracts for his clients….

  • Patrick Gillot says:

    Instead of lamenting the politics at the Vienna Statsoper lets rejoice at the choice of a great conductor.

  • Davey Mueller says:


    As for “rudeness” here………as the saying goes…..

    “It takes two to tango”.

    Backtrack here; to the 1st year, of former opera chief Dominick Meyer;
    wasn’t there—
    but, some degree of “rudeness”,or hostility must have been transmitted from Meyer…..
    to have percipitated the resignation of music director Franz Welser Most,
    (substantial loss),
    as well as the “I quit” submission of God blessed talented
    maestro Betrand de Billy (majorrrrr loss☹️)

    As of now,
    Welser Most back in the house—
    may we only hope, that de Billy follows suit,
    and returns to conducting there as well…

    Despite his “rough edges”….Meyer was a power house as an opera house chief;
    operas per season, being at 57, largest repretroir than any house in the world; only 41 this season, 2000-2010,) as well as what, 13 operas video streamed per season (none being streamed this season, from what I can gather)…..not ta mention, a plethora of “kinder opera” presentations, lectures, special presentations…..just a few items under the Meyer regime …..

    Being half Viennese, cannot escape the fact that the “uber drama” of the political positioning and posturing being greater than any opera house in the world; sometimes, almost eclipsing the presentation on stage at the house on the Ring Strasse….

    .here on Sept. 1st, 2020
    —emerging, from a “post Covid19” landscape….

    a “degree of difficulty” way off the scale……

    So…to incoming GENERAL INTENDANT R o s c i c……high cheers ta you, my friend—for a
    somewhat “transitional year”…..

    One year from now,

    hoping for an at least 50 opera plus “spielplan” ,
    as well as video streaming,

    as well as more lectures, as well as student and young people outreach as well……

    Baby steps, before grown up steps……


    after all is said and done…..

    Major lynchpin,
    of the whole operation there,
    being the

    Vienna Philharmonic

    right there in the pit—


    as well as finest pit orchestra
    of any opera house
    in the world