British conductor spares Vienna’s blushes

Mikko Franck has dropped out of  Strauss’s Salome and Verdi’s Otello next week at the Vienna State Opera.

His last-minute replacements are Michael Boder, who conducted Salome there last year, and the British conductor Jonathan Darlington, 63, former music director of Vancouver Opera who made his Vienna debut as recently as 2014.

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  • Good! Franck has led some of the worst performances I’ve heard in that house in recent years. How can anyone make “Elektra” such a snore-fest and ruin a Gheorghiu/Kaufmann/Terfel”Tosca” with such idiosyncratic, slovenly tempi (thank goodness he cancelled the second performance, the famous one where Gheorghiu purposely missed her Act III entrance – “They make me wait so I make them wait”).

    Boder is far more than just a dependable fill-in, with a 20-year career at Staatsoper. Specialising in 20th century opera, his “Salome” should be dazzling (with Waltraud Meier in her first-ever Herodias).

    • And now Michael Boder has cancelled! Dennis Russel Davies will conduct the “Salome” on 20 January.

    • “Ersatz” is not even supposed to be a pejorative.
      Remember, when the media-hyped bullshit cracks, they start calling the professionals to collect the pieces.

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