Controversy at the Royal Opera of Wallonia after the eviction of two soloists

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The vice-president of the board of directors of the Opéra royal de Wallonie (ORW), Philippe Monfils, requested an emergency board meeting.

This media release comes following the ousting, just a few days before the premiere of “Lucia di Lammermoor”, of two well-known artists of the Opera, without any official announcement, both of them having seemed -he learned the news from their agent, while the musical director Speranza Scappucci announced not to extend his mandate from 2022, officially for reasons of agenda.

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A deleterious atmosphere

Within the Opera, voices are raised to denounce a deleterious atmosphere and above all a unraveling of the legacy of the late Stefano Mazzonis, the general and artistic director who passed away last February. Because to these two evictions, Maxime Melnik (who was to sing Arturo) and Zeno Popescu (for Normanno), are added the dismissal of a human resources manager “without the board of directors knowing why”, indicates Philippe Monfils, “And the reinstatement of an artistic direction assistance ousted by the former general and artistic director in 2016 for conflicts of interest”.

“All this is not serious, for a structure which weighs 15 million subsidies, it is not acceptable,” denounces Philippe Monfils, who calls for a return to orthodoxy, “we must have justifications. I have the feeling that since Mazzonis’ death, we have been playing purges, ”denounces the politician MR. The latter also recalls that the appointment of the new director Stefano Pace after a double call for candidatures was carried out by a board which is not regularly composed because not renewed since the regional elections of 2019 “and which could therefore be broken by the Council. of State ”, agrees the lawyer by training.

In fact, on Tuesday evening, an action for annulment against the procedure for the appointment of the general and artistic director Stefano Pace was introduced to the Council of State by a candidate not selected during the appointment procedure, communicated the City of Liège.

The ORW reacted to the replacement of the two soloists by the general and artistic director by justifying that this was necessary in order to ensure “the overall level of quality that the public has a right to expect.” Doubts arose about these two artists during the first rehearsals. These doubts were confirmed during the first rehearsal on stage with the orchestra ”.

Finally, the Opéra royal de Wallonie Liège denies what has been reported on certain media and the rumor that the new assistant to the artistic direction is doing favoritism.

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