Back in his nest at the Opéra de Lyon, Serge Dorny has strongly contested the official line on his premature dismissal from the Semperoper Dresden earlier today. He points the finger of blame directly at Christian Thielemann, Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. It is perhaps telling that I can't find a photo of the two of them together.
In a statement partially reproduced in Le Figaro, Dorny attributes the "distressing situation" to "a lack of transparency and accuracy in the information provided" prior to his appointment. "If I'd had a clear understanding of the nature and scope of the powers of everyone involved, I would have turned down the job," he said.
He went on to explain that "despite repeated requests from the summer of 2013 on," he only "discovered post-appointment, while preparing future seasons, that some powers essential to the proper execution of the position of Intendant ... had been delegated to the Chief Conductor," and therefore both had "identical powers in certain areas, which could lead to paralysis of action."
He had asked his employer, the Saxon State Arts Minister, "to resolve the situation," since November, but remained without "any concrete response."
"Christian Thielemann did not want to work together, but only to preserve the independence of the Staatskapelle at the expense of the overall activities of the Semperoper," Dorny complains. (It should be pointed out that Thielemann, as his job title suggests, works for the orchestra rather than the opera house.)
"The plans I developed ... I couldn't carry out against Christian Thielemann's wishes, or even without him at all, and even less without the understanding and support of those who hold the pursestrings," said Dorny. (Other sources suggest that the main bone of contention was a Ring cycle.)
"The biggest loser is the institution itself, " Dorny concluded.
*UPDATE* - below is Dorny's letter in full. The Die Zeit article he cites to demonstrate the "arrogance" of the Staatskapelle is here: