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Maestro demands 50,000 Euro apology

Jesus Lopez-Cobos, who says he was slandered by Gerard Mortier in an Austrian newspaper, has issued a “denuncia” for 50,000 euros against Madrid’s Teatro Real, its director Mortier and the newspaper “Kurier” for publishing false information. The sum is for damages to his honor and dignity as a conductor. Mortier said he was fired by the Real. J L-C has proof he left of his own volition.

The supporting documents are circulating around the Spanish press. It’s getting hot out there.


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  1. That such a mild-mannered gent would rise to this indicates to me that he must really be hacked off. JLC is not taken to ego-driven, hot-headed impetuosity. I’d say he has a good case… provided the facts are on his side.

  2. Graf Nugent says:

    Even if Mortier’s claims were true it would be extremely disrepectful to publicly refer to an established professional in those terms. What’ll be next for the chop if the theatre has to pay out Lopez-Cobos?

  3. Of course J.L-C is right. Mortier just told b**ls**t to the Austrian paper and now refuses to apologize.

    I just have two questions:

    1. Why does he go to a Spanish court? IANAL, but I wonder why a Spanish court should have jurisdiction over an Austrian newspaper. Even if the Spanish court ruled in favour of JLC, there wouldn’t be much possibility to enforce this. Seizing the copies to be sold in Spain? Just a minor nuisance for an Austrian paper.

    2. Why does he sue the paper? Sounds like blaming the messenger. The declaration was made by Mortier. Are newspapers bound to verify the statements of their interviewees? My interpretation of common sense is rather this: If the paper can prove that Mortier actually did say this (and I assume they can), this turns out to be an issue between JLC and Mortier only.

  4. Mortier vs. Lopez-Cobos: HAS THE PRESS BEEN SILENCED?

    Spain’s classical music blog Beckmesser issued a statement today that Teatro Real & Gregorio Marañón, President of the Teatro’s Patronato, have silenced Spain’s 2 top newspapers, El Pais and El Mundo on the subject of LopezCobos’ demand of 50, 000 euros against Mortier.

    Beckmesser appears to be right. The story does not appear in either publication. Mr. Marañón, according to Beckmesser, has full control over what is published & not published in El Pais. Beckmesser offers speculation as to why El Mundo, the other top newspaper has been silenced.

    There is a huge undercurrent of Teatro Real’s control over the press which is coming to light in this situation. It is extraordinarly complicated and I do not pretend to understand it. Much of it has unfolded on the classical music blog Beckmesser. Beckmesser’s author is apparently well aquainted with the key players at Teatro Real and has made it quite clear that Teatro Real is trying to control the press in Spain.

    If anyone can shed light on the animosity between Beckmesser’s author and Teatro Real or has more information on Teatro Real’s unusual relationship with the press, please do tell us.

  5. Beckmesser has posted the 1st page of the Maestro’s demanda, a legal document, against Teatro Real, Mortier and Kurier:

  6. Paul Johnston says:

    The city of New York deserves to sue Mr. Moriter for abandoning City Opera when he had a contract with them which led to its demise for all intents and purposes

  7. Carolina says:

    Here’s the latest: Mortier claims Kurier changed what he said in the interview. The reporter, who’s worked for the paper since 1988 refuses to comment and is referring questions to the newspaper’s legal firm.

    Meanwhile in Spain, Maestro Jesus-Lopez Cobos has just been awarded the 2012 Castilla y Leon Prize for the Arts., and has been conducting a full schedule of very successful concerts during this whole

  8. Carolina says:

    Maestro Lopez-Cobos has responded from Vienna, where he’s conducting a new production of Rigoletto.
    He explains that the demanda situation is now in the hands of the lawyers:

  9. Austrian newspaper the Kurier, which published the Mortier interview in which he slandered Lopez-Cobos offered an interview with the Maestro to allow him to explain his side of the story. The interview was done by the same journalist who interviewed Mortier.

    Lopez-Cobos describes how he was fundamental in building the orchestra of the Teatro Real which exists today, having personally added many new musicians, and having sat thru hundreds of auditions. He ennumerates the new productions he presented at the Teatro directing this orchestra. He also refutes Mortier’s accusation that he was “the most expensive music director” in the Real’s history. He explains that his salary was no higher than any other music director who held the position.

    Maestro Lopez-Cobos’ demanda for 50,000 euros against Mortier, Teatro Real & the Kurier for slander is now being assessed by the lawyers representing the parties concerned.

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