Around 50 apply to run Austrian opera houses

Around 50 apply to run Austrian opera houses


norman lebrecht

November 22, 2019

Klagenfurt, a small opera company has just selected the German director Aron Stiehl as its next intendant. He was chosen from a list of 48 applicants, all of them competent and experienced.

The Vienna State Opera has just advertised for a commercial director to work with the incoming chief Bogdan Roscic. As of today, 53 credible applications have been received.

When English National Opera advertised for an artistic director recently, the field was so thin that on a shortlist of five only two were even marginally worthy of consideration.

That’s how far ENO has fallen on the international scale.


  • Opera Tourist says:

    You are so right, unfortunately!

  • Thomas Silverbörg says:

    I worked with Mr. Stiehl often in his beginning years, and found him friendly, organized, and competent.

  • oldwhitemaleoperalover says:

    This is delusional and hilarious! Everyone wants to run a house in London/ Berlin/ the major capitals of the world. Brexit may have put some europeans off but not the majority of opera professionals who are dying for an international platform. This is another boring attack on ENO and a sexist attack on Miskimmon. So a woman only got to run ENO because no wonderful talented men applied ? Nonsense. Boards don’t sit on their backsides and wait for CV’s to come in for a international house whether for intendants/Music or artistic directors. Boards talk to the big fish who want the role and let them pull out of the process early when it is clear who the preferred candidate is and that they will accept if offered! Otherwise you really anger high profile people who the company wants to respect . clearly SD knows nothing about how these things are done in the international market.

    • V. Lind says:

      That’s my experience too. Two words Search committee. Getting a high-profile job staffed in a major house is very much a pro-active undertaking. Most also open the process to applications, but there are not many cases of a major artist being known to have been pipped at the post for a top job — and it would get known, however much “confidentiality” was promised.

      That said, Brexit and its complications may be causing some previously unforeseen problems for UK institutions. ENO has had sufficient problems in recent years that some otherwise interested parties may have felt that now is not the time for considering it. The money may not have been good enough. OR: the appeal of producing operas in English only may have put a lot of people off — it certainly puts me off going.

      Sifting through CVs is definitely for smaller houses — which does not mean they will not attract high quality applicants. There is still more talent than work out there.

    • Una says:

      Well put!

  • M. says:

    Nun von den 48 Bewerbern wurden lediglich zwei zum Hearing eingeladen.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Also in an age of surtitles, singing everything in English have become a redundant policy. Why would anyone attend say an Italian opera sung in English. It just does not sound good.

  • Agnes says:

    Another unnecessary attack on ENO. Still as enterprising as ever and making opera affordable and in English which many still want to have, and the translations are always up to date. I always say, if you don’t like ENO, then don’t go. Just go to the ROH an if you could get a ticket for Fidelio unless you are a fee-paying patron or a Friend! All were sold before the public even had a chance – hardly affordable or accessible. You’d get a season ticket for the whole year with the other enterprising company, Opera North, for the price of one ROH ticket where it’s not always very good. But then southerners, particularly Londoners, don’t do north of Watford, particularly the wonderful and much cheaper city of Leeds! Ha!