Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Shock - Kasper Holten leaves ROH

Half an hour ago, the Royal Opera House announced that Kasper Holten will be leaving the Royal Opera House from March 2017. Here's his statement:

"I love working at ROH – and with all the amazing colleagues here – and it feels very painful to let go of that in 2017. But when I moved to London, my partner and I didn’t have children. Now we do, and after much soul searching we have decided that we want to be closer to our families and inevitably that means we make Copenhagen our home where the children will grow up and go to school.

So when Alex offered me an extension of my contract for another five years beyond summer 2016, I have decided only to ask for an extension of seven months, giving the ROH time to plan for my succession and for me to continue the work as long as possible. I will therefore leave my position in March 2017 after Tony and I open our new production of Wagner’s Meistersinger here at ROH. But my work isn’t done yet, so please don’t do too many farewells quite yet!"

This is sad news for those of us who genuinely love opera as a living, ever-growing art form. Holten breathed new life into the ROH, with his imaginative flair and love for the genre. Unfortunately the world seems to be descending into a mire of self righteous, blinkered philistinism, not only in the arts but elsewhere.  What lies ahead? I hate to think. But I wish Holten and his family everything good, and thank him for a few years of interesting, stimulating work.

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