Pacific Symphony’s St.Clair leaves Komische Oper

Posted on: May 17, 2010

Late Thursday (5/13) on the Orange County Register’s arts blog, Timothy Mangan writes, “On a cold Wednesday in Berlin this week, Carl St.Clair, music director of the Pacific Symphony for 20 years, sat in the Potsdamer Platz wearing an overcoat and talking on his cell phone to a reporter back home in Orange County. … The topic of conversation was the surprise announcement, made May 10, that he would be leaving the Komische Oper, where he has served as general music director for three years, at the end of this season, two years before his contract was up. A press release cited ‘artistic differences’ between St.Clair and the company’s intendant, Andreas Homoki, as the reason for the conductor’s departure. … The straw that broke St.Clair’s back is the company’s latest production of Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio,’ which he is conducting. … Directed by a young gun named Benedikt von Peter, this ‘Fidelio’ turned Beethoven’s opera on its head. … A short video of the production on YouTube bears St.Clair out. … ‘There was a gitter, like a prison cell put over the top of the orchestra,’ he said. Beethoven’s overture was dispensed with, the director’s idea. St.Clair was powerless to stop what he felt was a desecration of Beethoven’s opera.”

Posted May 17, 201