Muti to stop conducting opera in Salzburg

Muti to stop conducting opera in Salzburg

July 28, 2011

Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti has pointedly dropped Salzburg from his operatic outposts in future seasons. Speaking to News, an Austrian magazine, on Wednesday, the Italian maestro said, “I will only do operas two times a year, one in Rome and one opera concert with my orchestra in Chicago.”

Muti, who will turn 70 on Thursday, did not give any reasons for his decision to stop conducting opera at the prestigious Salzburg Festival, where he debuted in 1971 with Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” at the invitation of conductor Herbert von Karajan. Since then, he has conducted at every Salzburg festival except one for the last 40 years.

Muti has long been outspoken in his criticism of operatic stage directors whom he believes run roughshod over the composers’ intentions. He cancelled his participation in a production of Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” at Salzburg in 1992 over just such a disagreement. He also is known to have privately disparaged a staging of Verdi’s “Otello” he conducted at the festival in 2008.

complete article here.

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