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.
No word if the anticipated steamy, top secret PR copy relays information about Mortier, or the unstable future of the NYCO -- or both. The only sure thing is that it will be here at the latest on Monday. You can F5 F5 F5 to your heart's content here.
Rock solidreporting in Austria's Wiener Zeitung indicates that Gérard Mortier may very well never come to NYCO, after all, as was already divined by big sister la Cieca, what with the financial crisis and all. The paper will run more with the strange little Frenchman [Belgianman, whatevs] next week...
For now, Wiener Zeitung speculates the fallout for reasons that Mortier is dissatisfied with the low artistic standards of the NYCO (in comparison to the houses and festivals he's worked with in the past), the bad name that "Eurotrash" direction has in America, and the financial limitations that the struggling NYCO will put on his ~artistic visions~. Time to jump on your backcycle & backpeddle!
``Part of the Wagner family insisted that I assist Nike
Wagner in her possible leadership of the Bayreuth Festival,''
Mortier said in an e-mailed response to a query. ``With their six-
week season (plus rehearsals period), Bayreuth should not affect
my work for the New York City Opera. On the contrary, it could
reinforce the international stature of City Opera.''
Gerard Mortier, sneaky little man, adds a new surprising chapter in The Denazification of Bayreuth soap opera:
Belgian opera impresario Gerard Mortier is teaming up with Nike Wagner,
great-granddaughter of composer Richard Wagner, in a bid to run the
legendary Bayreuth Festival, a report said Monday.
Quoting Nike Wagner, 63, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
said the two had faxed a joint letter of application to the festival's
ruling body, the Stiftungsrat. It meets on September 1 to nominate a
successor to 88-year-old Wolfgang Wagner, who has headed Bayreuth for
the past 57 years.