The former head of London’s Royal Opera has been named director of the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen, a job he first held when he was 27.
The position has been a game of musical chairs in recent years and the theatre is badly demoralised.
UPDATE: Danish friends point out that Kasper was previously just artistic director. He is now in charge of the whole theatre.
UPDATE2: Kasper has clarified:
It was announced today that from 1 Sept I will be the next CEO of the Det Kongelige Teater (Royal Danish Theatre) – the national home for drama, ballet, opera and symphonic music in Denmark. It feels amazing, and it feels like coming home, but in a very different role from when I was Director of Opera here 2000-2011. It is a major life decision for me to focus in the future less on the exciting, but fleeting life as a freelance stage director – and focus instead on the overall responsibility for this important institution, its many wonderful employees and being an advocate in general for the performing arts in Denmark and beyond. It is difficult times in many ways. But we need to embrace change and reflect on what the future of RDT looks like, so we can be a generous, involving and courageous theatre that is relevant for as many people as possible in all of Denmark. I firmly believe that in a time where we increasingly consume cultural products alone, on demand, in short formats and on screens or in our headphones, there will be a bigger need than ever before for coming together with other people to experience live, unplugged artistic experiences that matter and change our lives! The only place we have an excuse to turn off our mobile phones is the theatre and concert hall! This job will something of a challenge, but I cant wait to get started!
Prima ballerina Olga Smirnova and soloist Jacopo Tissi have been refused visas to perform at Lincoln Center.
The veteran director Peter Konwitschny has given his account of being fired this week by Gothenburg Opera from his production of Boris Godunov. He asked for the statement – to Swedish radio P4 Gothenburg – to be published in full. Here it is:
Beim proben der applausordnung störte ein musiker. als ich ihm sagte, daß wir ruhe brauchen, setzte er sein lärmen fort. daraufhin wurde ich laut. die probe wurde fortgesetzt. am nächsten mittag erschienen drei herren der oper, darunter der intendant, in meiner wohnung und teilten mir mit, daß ich das theater nicht mehr betreten dürfe, weil ich die gute schwedische arbeitsatmosphäre verletzt hätte. meine argumente wurden nicht gehört, die herren hatten ihr urteil bereits gefällt, bevor sie zu mir kamen. das ganze hat mich an die inquisition erinnert, wo das opfer auch keine chance hatte. der intendant betonte mehrfach, daß er meine inszenierung großartig findet, aber er könne nichts gegen die union ausrichten. auch ich bedauere den kuriosen zwischenfall und hoffe, meine arbeit mit stephen langridge fortzusetzen, aber nicht in göteborg, solange dort unfaire gewerkschafter das sagen haben.
And here’s our translation:
While rehearsing the order of applause, a musician made a disturbance. When I told him that we needed quiet, he continued his noise. At that point, I became loud. The rehearsal continued. The next afternoon, three gentlemen of the opera, including the Intendant, appeared in my apartment and informed me that I was not allowed to enter the theatre because I had violated the good Swedish working atmosphere. My arguments were not heard. The gentlemen had already made their decision before they came to me. The whole thing reminded me of the Inquisition, where the victim has no chance. the Intendant repeatedly stressed that he finds my staging great, but he cannot do anything against the union. I, too, regret the curious incident and hope to continue my work with Stephen Langridge, but not in Gothenburg so long as unfair trade unionists have their say.
Chris Brown, professor of music at the University of Minnesota and one of the whistle-blowers on James Levine, has been talking to the New York Post.
He says: ‘Because the movement happened to get its start with women only, in a way it furthers my loneliness as a past victim… Men are historically considered the bad guys. If some men abuse women, then we all are abusers ourselves … so therefore when it comes to our being abused, we deserve it.’
Brown is a former principal doublebass with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Read on here.
DALLAS, TX. April 19, 2018 – The Dallas Opera is pleased to announce that American baritone Craig Verm will perform the role of Don Giovanni in the three remaining performances of a critically acclaimed production from Lyric Opera of Chicago. Verm was originally cast as Masetto in this star-studded international cast.
This revival… was originally scheduled to star Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecień. Mr. Kwiecień was unable to sing the first three performances due to illness and has been granted permission to withdraw from the TDO production, at his request.
The music director has clarified his situation, following yesterday’s political ouster of the chief administrator.
From the desk of Gianandrea Noseda, Music Director, Teatro Regio Torino
After yesterday’s resignation of Walter Vergnano, Sovrintedente of Teatro Regio Torino, I would like to make clear that I did not resign from my position as Music Director of the Teatro Regio Torino. Under the present circumstances, I encourage the board of the Teatro Regio Torino and its president, Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Torino, to appoint a strong general manager who will be able to resolve the serious difficulties facing the theatre.
I must thank everyone at the Teatro Regio Torino from the stagehands to the technicians, workshop and make-up to the musicians and the chorus, for delivering the highest quality music and art since I became music director in 2007.
I will make my final decision about my future with the Teatro Regio Torino when it will be clear if the conditions offered by the board will allow my colleagues and me to produce the music and art at the level we offered to the world.
Gianandrea Noseda, Direttore Musicale del Teatro Regio Torino
A seguito delle dimissioni di Walter Vergnano – Sovrintendente del Teatro Regio Torino – annunciate ieri, vorrei chiarire che non mi sono dimesso dalla carica di Direttore Musicale del Teatro Regio di Torino. Apprezzate le circostanze, non posso che auspicare che il Consiglio di Indirizzo del teatro e il suo Presidente Chiara Appendino, Sindaco di Torino, nominino una figura di Sovrintendente forte, in grado di risolvere le serie difficoltà che il teatro deve affrontare.
Devo ringraziare tutto il personale del Teatro Regio Torino, dai macchinisti ai tecnici, dal personale di laboratorio ai truccatori, agli artisti dell’orchestra e del coro, che da quando ho assunto la Direzione Musicale nel 2007, hanno assicurato la più alta qualità musicale e artistica.
Prenderò una decisione sul mio futuro con il Teatro Regio Torino quando sarà chiaro se le condizioni che il Consiglio di Indirizzo presenterà consentiranno a me e ai miei colleghi di continuare a produrre la qualità artistica e musicale che abbiamo offerto al mondo fino a questo momento.
The London agency has hired Lorna Aizlewood, former senior executive of IMG Artists and EMI Records, as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.
Since HP are not in the business of suing anyone, it’s reasonable to assume they are looking to the future. Lorna is a savvy operator.
Jasper Parrott, 73, continues as executive chairman.
We hear that Peter Konwitschny, one of the most respected German directors, has been sacked by Gothenburg Opera three days before the opening of his production of Boris Godunov.
The company’s CEO, Christina Björklund, said his behaviour had been unacceptable. ‘There were no grey areas,’ she told Swedish Radio. ‘I feel comfortable with this decision.’
The tipping point was an incident during the dress rehearsal on Tuesday night when Konwitschny began screaming at a trumpet player who was warming up in the pit. His outburst was witnessed by a childrens’ choir.
Konwitschy, 73, was removed from the rehearsal and fired the next day.
UPDATE: Konwitschny: I was confronted by the Inquisition.
Our diarist Anthea Kreston gets stopped in her tracks:
I was driving in my rental car, heading from the Oakland Airport for the final leg of our strenuous 2 week tour of the United States. Exhausted, but thankful that for these last 4 concerts, I would be based out of my sister’s house in Berkeley, driving myself to concerts in the Bay Area and Napa. I have been squeezing in as much practice time as possible – immediately after returning to Berlin, in addition to our new round of Quartet repertoire and recording sessions for Warner, I am playing a piano trio concert and a string trio concert.
Last season, our manager had called saying that the ElbPhilharmonie was looking for a string trio to play the Schoenberg String Trio for their opening week of concerts. Jason and I immediately thought of Volker, the original violist of the Artemis Quartet, and our friend since our student days. After the concert, the conductor Ingo Metzmacher came to find us back stage, and hired us on the spot for his adventurous concert series in Hannover, KünsteFestSpiel. His repertoire of choice – start with the Schoenberg (an intense 30 minute depiction of his heart attack), followed by the Rihm String Trio (für Drei). We immediately said yes, happy that our fun collaboration would have a future. Over beer, Volker said – you know this Rihm (a modernist German composer who is all the rage here) is basically never performed – it is an hour long and nearly impossible to play. Haha – that’s what they always say!
So here I was, in the rental car, blasting the Rihm String Trio, heading into the final leg of our tour, so happy to finally lay my head down in the same bed for multiple nights, and to have good food and company. About 40 minutes in, I was in the 5th movement, at the part where Volker sounds like he is hacking at a frozen carcass with a cleaver while I am strangling a cat in heat, and I heard something curious. A long, sustained elephant fart. A couple of things went through my mind – “Wow – these car speakers are incredible!”, “how the heck is that notated?”, and, finally, “the audience is going to adore this part!”. Driving on the second from left lane on a 6 lane highway, I noticed the wheel was shaking and the car pulling to the right. I turned off the speakers, and low and behold, the elephant was still at it. It wasn’t the Rihm after all, just a flat tire.
I pulled off as quickly as I could, to the shoulder of the exit ramp. By this time I was close to one of the tent villages around Oakland, and thought that the exit ramp would probably be the smarter choice for a regrouping. I checked the trunk for a spare and tools, and called my brother-in-law to tell him I would be late. Finding a piece of concrete in the brush, I steadied the footing of the jack (I was on a dirt shoulder), and dug in. Two trucks pulled over, each one with a friendly man, asking if I needed help. I said I thought I had this – I was a reasonably intelligent adult and I had changed my share of tires in the olden days. After inspecting my work, they both told me to carry on – lookin’ good!
And so, my “free day”, which had begun in Houston, teaching a wonderful group of students from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice, and catching up with old teachers James Dunham (Cleveland Quartet) and Norman Fischer, finally ended at 11:00 PM, in the glow of a warm Berkeley kitchen, glass of California wine in hand, catching up with family that I see all too little.
The final concert last night, in Napa, wrapped up our tour – all four of us are bone-tired, emotionally exhausted, and nursing along arms and fingers barely hanging on after so many nightly performances. None of us gave less than our whole selves – 4 rings of sweat glisten on the stage after our final encore of our 2018 US tour. I am waiting for a flight to Los Angeles now – heading down to teach a masterclass before stopping by to say hello to old friends in Oregon, and then back to Berlin, where my Humboldt Streich Trio eagerly awaits our exploration into the strange and marvelous world of Rihm.