Berlin State Opera taps Flimm as artistic director

23rd December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Flimm, 67, will replace Peter Mussbach, who frequently clashed with the house's musical director, the Argentinian-born Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim.

Berlin -- German theatre director Juergen Flimm will become artistic director of the renowned Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper) in 2010, authorities said Monday.

Flimm, 67, will replace Peter Mussbach, who frequently clashed with the house's musical director, the Argentinian-born Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim.

His five-year contract at the Staatsoper will begin on September 1, 2010, the city government said in a statement.

Flimm said this month he would not stay on as artistic director of Austria's Salzburg Festival, one of the world's most prominent summer arts festivals, after his contract runs out in 2011.

His decision to throw in the towel came after a bitter dispute with the festival's drama chief, Thomas Oberender, over the standing of spoken theatre within the month-long festival of music, opera and plays.

Flimm has spent much of his career in Germany, with stints at Cologne's Schauspiel theatre and Thalia in Hamburg, the country's most successful theatre.

Although he made his reputation with spoken theatre, he began a long love affair with opera in 1978, directing productions in New York, London, Berlin, Milan, Zurich and at the prestigious Wagner festival in Bayreuth, Germany.

He will arrive in the cash-strapped German capital amid a bitter row over financing for Berlin's three opera houses, costly holdovers from the city's 28-year division.

AFP/Expatica

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