Conflict at the Bucharest Opera goes on

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The tensions at the National Opera in Bucharest continued on Thursday, with the Culture minister himself coming to talk to the opera employees. They mainly oppose the minister’s Wednesday decision to re-appoint George Calin as the new interim general manager. The artists inform they will go on Japanese strike.

The opera staff sabotaged the “Falstaff” performance on Wednesday night, while threatening to also cancel the show’s Thursday representation.

Some artists accused that George Calin’s re-appointment was a compromise solution for it was suitable to the Danish choreographer Johan Kobborg.

The artists support conductor Tiberiu Soare, the former interim general manager replaced by Calin. They say that George Calin is corruptible, as a previous investigation by the Court of Accounts had also revealed several months ago.

The opera, operetta and ballet artists called on the Culture minister to solve the conflict. In exchange, Vlad Alexandrescu announced during their protest that he had appointed two advisers and a secretary of state to offer support for the ONB leadership.

We disapprove the way Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg went to the international media and soiled the name of the country and of the Opera through their blackmail,” said soprano Sorina Munteanu, as quoted by Mediafax.

During the tensed situation in the past week, it was revealed that Johan Kobborg used to ask dancers to speak only in English. “As I am Romanian, what language am I supposed to speak?,” first ballerina Cristina Dilimaru asked the Culture minister who replied that “one should generally speak in Romanian”, as “the papers are drafted in Romanian” and “if an artist doesn’t know Romanian, it’s his problem.”

In his turn, the replaced interim manager, Tiberiu Soare said that they had been warned that the performances staged by Kobborg were to be withdrawn. “What Mr. Kobborg tried to do was an action against the theatrical season built by himsels to prove that without him, the entire ballet edifice is collapsing,” Soare argued.

The minister told artists he would seriously consider their discussion and that he is willing to solve this situation.

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