In Friday’s (2/5) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “In a story of opera house intrigue with nationalist overtones, the Italian general music director of the Saxon State Opera and its celebrated orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, has abruptly resigned, leaving the house without a conductor for this month’s Wagner ‘Ring’ cycle. The maestro, Fabio Luisi, who is becoming a frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, said on Thursday that he would immediately cease working at the Dresden house and was canceling his performances through next season, after which his contract was to expire anyway. In a telephone interview from his home in Genoa, Mr. Luisi said opera and orchestra officials had gone behind his back to make a deal with ZDF, a German broadcasting network, over a high-profile and potentially lucrative televised performance by the orchestra next New Year’s Eve. Orchestra management gave the conducting job for the concert to Christian Thielemann, a German who has been named as Mr. Luisi’s successor starting 2012. … Mr. Luisi said his contract specified that he be consulted for such decisions. … It is not clear who will take Mr. Luisi’s place for the ‘Ring’ performances or the concerts the orchestra is to give at Lincoln Center next fall.”

Posted February 8, 2010