Serge Dorny creates a Gerard Mortier award

Serge Dorny creates a Gerard Mortier award


norman lebrecht

January 02, 2019

The incoming chief of Bavarian State Opera has initiated a biennial Mortier Next Generation award in memory of his late mentor, who died five years ago.

The prize money, 30,000 Euros, is being put up by the Berge/Saint Laurent Foundation, the Salzburg Festival and the regional governments of Flanders and the Rhineland. The upwardly mobile Dorny has worked hard to cast himself as Mortier’s Crown Prince.

The first winner will be announced next week.

Any nominations?



  • Caravaggio says:

    Franco Zeffirelli
    Plácido Domingo

  • Cantantelirco says:

    New York City Opera.

  • Such a pity that the NYCO wasn’t able to keep their promises to Mortier, and also to have procured the funding to fully operate. It would have allowed for a creative sense of adventure and even controversy that the city’s cultural life desperately needs.

    • Dan P. says:

      Another way to look at it is this: isn’t it a pity that Mortier pushed the NYCO to spend well beyond its means into oblivion just to satisfy his demands. The other question is always, why did they want Mortier so badly that they were forced to walk the plank for him? And, why didn’t he realize – or care to realize – what he was doing? NYCO was a shoestring operation from its earliest days, but within its limitations, it was a wonderful organization.

      • If I remember right, they had agreed to a $60 million budget, which is very modest for an opera company, and especially for one in the richest city in the world.

        • Dan P. says:

          But they were bleeding money right and left due to a number of things within and beyond their control. Mortier demanded things the opera ultimately could not fund, but they did accede to a renovation in the hall that made this long-established member of Lincoln Center an itinerant whereupon it lost most of its audience. Then Mortier screwed them when he couldn’t get his way by not only resigning before even doing anything but also insisting on his full salary based on terms of his contract. The Mortier award should actually go to snotty know-it-alls who abandon small but still vibrant artistic organizations, make risky demands, and stab them in the back causing them a slow and publicly agonizing death.

  • jan neckers says:

    “Zjerarke” (as he was known in Gent) was a financial disaster. In 1969 he almost wrecked the Festival van Vlaanderen and had to leave for Germany. When he came back at De Munt he proved he still had not learned a thing. For the creation of Das Schloss he budgeted 32 million franks as income, knowing well that ticket sales would not amount to one tenth of that sum. His nick names “the Flemish peacock” was well deserved. He had the important archives of De Munt thrown into the dustbin (they were saved by horrified lovers of De Muntschouwburg). He left De Munt almost financially ruined. The president of the board proposed to accept the big yearly subsidy while not performing at all. As a man of the left Zjerarke couldn’t be asked to share a seat with common people in a plane; even not in business. It had to be first class.

  • I nominate The New York City Opera

  • Ebubu says:

    “Any nominations ?”
    Ah, ah, he’d be very capable of nominating his very own self, as nothing has ever stopped him short of anything, much less “folie des grandeurs”.
    Yep, crown prince of “Flemish Peacock”, he’s earned the title all right.