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Just in: Cologne Opera chief forced to quit after threatening to cancel next season

Uwe Eric Laufenberg is gone. It was always likely to happen after he said last week that there was no money to pay for next season. In fact, he has been saying this for months. But it was more than the city council wanted to hear and Laufenberg was turfed out. Very slowly. He will work out his notice until August 2013.

Will Cologne Opera open its doors next season? Of course it will. It was always going to. But it faces relegation to a lower division of operatic attention and it desperately a needs an intendant with entrepreneurial skills who can make the most of very little. If I were Burgomeister of Köln, I would call in the happily retired Sir Peter Jonas for a quiet consultation.

Meanwhile, the singers are doing their bit to kepp spirits up.

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