Just in: Glyndebourne’s loss is Italy’s gain

The German director Sebastian Schwarz who quit as artistic director after losing a power struggle at Glyndebourne in 2017, has been named Sovrintendente of the Teatro Reggio in Turin.

Good call. He’s full of ideas and speaks fluent Italian.

He replaces William Graziosi, who lasted just 15 months.

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  • He has many ties to Italy including having studied at the Conservatory Benedetto Marcello in Venice. In 2015 he was made Cavaliere of the Order of the Star of Italy in recognition of his propagation and support of Italian artists and art.

    Given his affinity for Italy, this is understandable.

    • Maybe the misspelling of the Regio from Turin as “Reggio” is Lebrecht’s Freudian slip way of suggesting Schwarz really belongs at the regional opera in Reggio Calabria (that one, not being royal, takes two Gs). Which he does.

      Meanwhile the rest of us have to deal with the aftermath of Schwarz at GFO, best summed up by the recent Zauberfloete car crash which is entirely his doing and pretty much only legacy — he brought the ghastly team of Barbe & Doucet (complete with logo, website that makes them look like a hipster coffeeshop-cum-yoga studio, professional studio pics, funky ‘taches and clothes for the curtain call, egos to match — but devoid of any ideas).

  • The irony is that the main reason why he left Glyndebourne was that – as he himself hinted at – he was not capable of raising funds for a privately owned opera company, his only previous experience being casting in a generously funded state theatre, where he could excessively spend taxpayer’s money.

    Now his task is pulling the most indebted theatre in Italy out of bankruptcy, a job nobody else wanted to touch with a barge pole.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Er…he won’t have to satisfy donors (or worry too much about ticket sales), just keep within budget and come up with interesting artistic programmes.

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