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Plan to merge two German opera houses

Düsseldorf Opera has run out of cash and faces closure. Cologne has sacked its artistic director after he threatened to suspend the next season. The two cities are now talking of merger.

Not a good idea. A Covent Garden-ENO merger was mooted in London by the last Labour government and laughed out of town. In Australia it was pushed through and resulted in poorer service for Sydney and Melbourne alike.

Show me a merger that works and we’ll change our minds. For the time being, the two German cities need to solve their problems on their own.

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  1. Michael Hurshell says:

    The merger that HAD worked for over 50 years was Düsseldorf-Duisburg. I very much hope it will be salvaged, not least in order to keep the wonderful Duisburg Philh. going. Köln & Düsseldorf? Ridiculous.

  2. Duisburg is considering ending the city’s funding for Deutsch Oper am Rhein, a collaboration that has existed between Düsseldorf and Duisburg for over 50 years. This would effectively cut the Duisburger Philharmoniker to a B-class orchestra, and close the Opera/Ballet hall in Duisburg. There has been speculation in the media about a Düsseldorf/Cologne merger, but I do not believe that anybody considers it a practical or feasible solution. Düsseldorf and Duisburg are quite close together, and connected easily by train, tram, and regional rail lines, making a collaboration quite easy (busses leave Düsseldorf 2 hours before a performance for singers/dancers).

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