And after all the gossip this can not be said to be a surprise - but it is nevertheless a remarkable turn of events to have Gerard Mortier as the new General and Artistic Director of the New York City Opera from 2009. This will really stir things up! The Met and its General Manager no longer have the stage for themselves - and they will be pressed to stay on top given the genius of Mortier in defying the conventional wisdoms. Hats off to the Board of the NYCO! Its all good news for opera.
I will be delighted to see my old friend and colleague playing a part in American operatic life - just what is needed! We go back to his days as a brilliant young Artistic Administrator in Hamburg and from there he went to Paris before taking on Brussels 26 years ago and making a brilliant success of it. And all these years later we are working together on the Neue Stimmen stuff - he is the Chairman of our Jury. I take it that this turn of events will have an impact on the applicants from the US this year. You singers out there had better sign up now to audition in either Toronto, New York, San Francisco or Chicago.