Saturday, September 20, 2014

Opera Not Catching A Break

If you take a look at the state of opera in the last few months, it seems that the opera world cannot catch a break.  From sour negotiations at the Met, the on going drama with San Francisco Opera and the political scandal at La Scala, it seems that no opera house is safe anymore.  Each time you go to open the paper on opera there is more bad press to read about.  That is why it was unfortunate to hear about the music director at Vienna State Opera stepping down before his contract was complete.  He was suppose to stay on at Vienna till August 2018, which is why his resignation has been such a shock to the opera world.  Along with the Met, Covent Garden, La Scala, Vienna State Opera is one of the premier opera houses in the world, who's orchestra is made up of members of the Vienna Philharmonic.  Franz Welzer-Möst, the music director who stepped down, has recently spoken about how he has found his dream job working for Vienna State Opera, and that this was a very hard decision to leave.  His reasoning for the sudden departure was "difference of opinion between Dominique Meyer" and himself. 

Mr. Meyer the artistic director is left to find substitute conductors for the 34 performances that Mr. Welzer-Möst was suppose to be leading.  It will also leave a huge hole in the musical direction of Vienna State Opera till a new musical director can be found.  What is even more interesting is that Mr. Meyer has said that 99 percent of this season's tickets have already been sold.  It begs to ask the question if an opera company seems to be doing so well, why would Mr. Welzer-Möst feel the need to leave the company on such short notice. 

We will never know the full story between the two men over what inevitably caused Mr. Welzer-Möst decision to leave Vienna, but it is a sad day for the opera world because of his absences.  Many other conductors from around the world will now have their eyes set on this renown position.  Hopefully, whoever they find to fill the gap that is now in Vienna's Opera house will help lead opera further into the future.

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