Franz Welser-Möst, music director of the Vienna State Opera, is so critical of Jean-Louis Martinoty's two recent Mozart productions that a planned third has been cancelled, reports the Kleine Zeitung.
Martinoty's traditionally styled but radically reconceived Don Giovanni and Figaro failed to find much favour with critics or public.
But that's not the reason he won't be invited back for Cosi in two years time. After all, everyone makes mistakes said Welser-Möst. The problem is that Martinoty didn't learn from his. His concepts didn't work because he didn't listen to the singers and musicians. From the outset, said Welser-Möst, Martinoty dismissed everything that went on in the pit.
The State Opera's director and fellow-Frenchy, Dominique Meyer, has tried to play down the differences: "There are sometimes cases where a conductor and a director don't get along. They're artists. You have to accept that sort of thing".
It's unusual though for 'artistic differences', usually kept well under wraps, to be aired in this way. And for Welser-Möst, a conductor not given to idle bitching, to react so strongly and so specifically - and in public. But then Meyer's appointment of the veteran but little-known Martinoty to replace two of Vienna's most significant repertory productions was somewhat unusual in the first place.