Second Conductor Resigns from Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera has lost its second conductor in two weeks. WQXR again:

Bertrand de Billy says he refuses to work under opera director Dominique Meyer, mentioning “dishonesty” and “lack of loyalty.”

The French maestro was quoted in Tuesday’s Kurier newspaper that differences in March over one bar of music in a production of Wagner’s Lohengrin. sparked the dispute. After de Billy refused to conduct the performance, Meyer told him he could no longer conduct new productions.

I’d love to know more. Either this was a disagreement that spun out of control very quickly, or there’s a lot more to it than we know.

UPDATE: I’ve run the original Kurier article through Google Translate, and, while the details are still unclear, it seems that the bar of Lohengrin was a small part of a large disagreement, and that it was the “trigger”. De Billy, in a poor translation:

It was ultimately only to the lack of support and dishonesty on the part of the directorate.

If anyone reading this can read German, I’d love a better translation.

UPDATE 2: It seems that the two had butted heads before, over matters of casting and hiring, and that the last straw was an argument over whether or not to cut a bar from Lohengrin.

Enormous thanks to Nicole for translating.

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