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  • ‘Being Director of Opera is like managing Manchester United’: Kasper Holten on the 2013/14 Season

‘Being Director of Opera is like managing Manchester United’: Kasper Holten on the 2013/14 Season

Director of Opera gives hints about Les Vêpres siciliennes and talks about his new production of Don Giovanni.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content)

4 September 2013 at 4.28pm | 2 Comments

Director of Opera Kasper Holten spoke to BBC Radio 3’s In Tune yesterday about the upcoming 2013/14 Season.

Kasper spoke to presenter Sean Rafferty about a Season filled with star power including Jonas Kaufmann in Manon Lescaut, Simon Rattle conducting Dialogues des Carmélites, Joyce DiDonato in Maria Stuarda, and Anna Netrebko, Bryn Terfel, Simon Keenlyside and Joseph Calleja in Faust.

‘We have a good mix this Season. The Company is in a good state to take on challenges, to really go to the extremes of where opera can be,’ said Kasper of the range of works to be staged during 2013/14.

On his transition two years ago from the Royal Danish Opera to Covent Garden, Kasper said ‘It’s like switching from managing FC Copenhagen to running Manchester United. The Royal Opera is incredible because it’s a company where all the big stars of the world want to perform; because of its history and tradition and because of the people we can attract it’s a really special place to work.’

Speaking of the production he himself will direct, Kasper said: ‘The challenge of Don Giovanni that it’s an incredible piece but it evokes the fantasy for all of us – who is this incredible seducer? Don Giovanni needs to be a comedy and a tragedy at once.’

On the appeal of the character of anti-hero Don Giovanni, Kasper said that the opera is ‘About a man who more than anything is hurting himself. It’s something we recognize, this restlessness where enough is never enough – we want more, more, more and this never allows us to truly enjoy where we are. It’s something that modern people recognize.’

Kasper also spoke of the challenges of the Season’s two epic productions - Les Vêpres siciliennes and Parsifal - dropping hints as to the staging of the former. He discussed exciting new works, both in the ROH’s Linbury Studio Theatre and at Shakespeare’s Globe, and his thoughts on cast cancellations and the importance of opera in cinemas.

Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja was also a guest on the programme.

Listen to the interview:

Kasper also took part in a web chat with Classic FM this morning, answering audience questions about the upcoming season and the health of opera as an art form.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Online Content)

4 September 2013 at 4.28pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged 2013/14, BBC, BBC Radio 3, by Kasper Holten, Classic FM, don giovanni, In Tune, interview, Joseph Calleja, Kasper Holten, Production

This article has 2 comments

  1. Krishaan responded on 18 December 2013 at 10:21pm Reply

    And just like David Moyes you appear to be failing at it!

  2. naomi layish responded on 2 January 2014 at 9:06pm Reply

    I suggest that you leave opera alone and try and find a job managing a football team.
    There at least you could probably do less damage. But I may be wrong there: I know a great deal about opera, having attended hundreds of performances in tens of opera houses- and I know almost nothing about football.

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