Gerry Mortier, that little barrel (Barrique?) of surprises, finally spake to his hometown newspaper, Le Monde.
Re: his decision to pull out of the NYCO directorship: "I had been promised a 60 million dollars budget, then it was reduced because of the crisis. I accepted sacrifices, but there are limits".
Re: his tenure in Paris, he brags of having lowered the average age of the operagoers and of having created five euro tickets targeted to the young; he mentioned he had been offered Berlin but "Barenboim and I would be two tigers on the same mountain". He admits his new post, Madrid's Teatro Real, is not one of the world's top opera houses, but he appreciates the challenge because he considers Spanish audiences to be progressive, unlike the French and most other big opera house audiences.
He finally drops a little bomb meant to create a few ripples here in Milan; re: Scala GM Stéphane Lissner he says: "The Spanish wanted Lissner, too. But I think he is the natural future director of Opéra de Paris in 2013".
Probably news to Milan mayor and -- under the weird statute it enjoys -- Scala CEO Letizia Moratti, who plans to keep Lissner in charge of La Scala until the 2015 Expo year.