Teatro Regio Music Director Gianandrea Noseda Says Won't Renew Contract Unless a New GM is Brought On

Gianandrea Noseda, music director of Teatro Regio for the last seven years, said this week that he wouldn't renew his contract unless a new general manager was brought on. He added that he would honor his conducting commitments for the coming season, but as a guest conductor.

Noseda said that he was leaving because he felt that the opera house's general manager, Walter Vergnano, had not been supportive of his efforts to show off the company's improvements on the world stage. In a telephone interview Noseda said, "Now we have the engine of a fantastic car, like a Ferrari, but you cannot drive a Ferrari and win the Grand Prix if you leave the brake down all the time."

Vergnano, who has been general manager since 1999, disputed Noseda's characterization, saying that he didn't oppose raising the theater's profile, but had only tried to keep an eye on the mounting costs during difficult financial times.

This news comes at a during a delicate time for opera in Italy. Many Italian companies have been chaotic for years, with the challenges growing much more serious recently, as the heavily indebted country has struggled to comply with the European Union's rules on budget deficits. But the Teatro Regio was becoming known for doing well during such a difficult time. Noseda, who joined the company in 2007, developed a reputation for being entrepreneurial.

Noseda said in an interview that there had been friction for a long time between him and Vergnano over direction of the company, but it had grown this year since both men's contracts were up this summer. "Basically it's two different visions for the development of the theater," Noseda said.

Noseada spoke about the troubles saying, "The finances were shrinking very much, and I was just pushing, and trying to convince Mr. Vergnano that the only solution is to become an important player on the world map, not only in Torino, or in Italy. He didn't get it, or didn't want to understand."

Vergnano denied that in an interview saying, "The division was not 'to grow, or not to grow," He said that he supported the international tours but wanted to make sure that the company did not lose money on them. "It wasn't to go abroad or not to go abroad. It was to go abroad when we can cover all the costs," said Vergnano.

The dispute became public in May, at a news conference to announce the coming season. Mr. Noseda, who usually gives a presentation describing the program, only asked the assembled guests if they had any questions about what was to be performed.

At Thursday's rehearsal, Noseda told the orchestra at that he would not renew his contract if Vergnano stayed on. Noseda recalled, "I said if Vergnano will be renewed as intendant, I'm not going to renew my contract as music director. It caused an explosion, like an atomic bomb." He would be said to leave the company, saying, "For me it's very painful, from the bottom of my heart."

Read the original article here.

Photo Credit: Noseda © Ramella&Giannese

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