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Cologne fires opera chief

The saga of who runs opera in one of Germany’s biggest cities – and whether there will be any opera at all next year – took an upturn last night when the city fired the opera intendant, Uwe Eric Laufenberg.

Laufie’s the man who let the cat out of the bag, saying there wasn’t enough cash in the kitty (excuse repeated feline metaphor) to put on a full season. This, he added charmingly, would be the first time a German city had failed to stage a full opera season since 1943/44.

The city at first ordered him to make do. Now they have fired him. In an unrelated move, the general music director Markus Stenz has also walked.

That could leave Cologne Germany’s first culture-free zone since 1685… (oh, work it out for yourselves).


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  1. Graf Nugent says:

    How the once-mighty have fallen. Köln has been descending into irrelevance for quite a while, now but its opera remained well-supported, by the public, at least. Let’s hope they find a way out of the mess.

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