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Just in: Semper Oper announces new intendant

Yes, it’s him.

After a summer of yes-no, Serge Dorny of Lyon Opera has accepted the Dresden chiefdom left vacant by the death of the widely-admired Ulrike Hessler last summer.

The Belgian director will need quickly to form a congenial relationship with a strong-minded music director, Christian Thielemann, an ever-sceptical audience and a turbulent political establishment.

Dorny, 51, was formerly director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Like Gerard Mortier, though less flamboyantly, he leaves few neutrals in his wake.


photo: Matthias Creutziger

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  1. condoleances to the Dresden public : he is indeed a mortier copy, a boring type of the politically correct eurotrash regie theatre tribe with the ever repetitive repertoire for the happy few from Janacek to Ligety. In no time will he clash with Thielemann especially as Thielemann knows more about opera than dorny does…Gee can’t t they find anyone in Germany itself for the job??? Halt to mortier clones coz that’s exactly what the dorny’s and de caluwe’s of this world are…

  2. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Thielemann v. Dorny will be very interesting…

  3. Some here do not seem to be familiar with his work transforming the Lyon Opera to major league status. His creative approach has attracting new audiences and put the opera out front in Lyon. He was at the top of everyone’s list as intendant and critics, if they haven’t spent time in Lyon, should stop talking in blurbs.

  4. Far from boring! He’s a polyglot, an intellectual, an ideas man, a driving force and completely dedicated to his work. OK, not always the easiest person to get along with due to the strength of his opinions, but a totally amazing man.

  5. My last post did not get posted. Hope it wasn’t censorship of a contrary view. 96 percent of tickets sold in Lyon. One out of four in the audience under 25. What opera company would want those stats.

    • Which recommends him highly for the Dresden job. Dresden Opera has a world class orchestra in a gorgeous opera house with a mediocre (at best) opera operation, playing for a silver haired dwindling audience. Symphony concerts in the opera by the Staatskapelle are usually sold out in Dresden. Opera performances are not perceived so well anymore, many empty seats. I’m curious what Dorny can achieve to bring the opera operation of the house up to the level the Staatskapelle represents.

  6. Tha fans are already at work, BORING meaning he’s a Mortier copy, the new season says it all just have a look at the repertory a rehash AGAIN. Moreover you don’t need a polyglot to run an opera house eg Gatti-Cassazi wasn’t one yet did a great job at the Met….Poor Dresden poor Thieleman or should i say poor Dorny. I’m done with these Mortier clones, they dominated the European stage for FAR TOO LONG. Not a fan obviously but as much entitled to my opinion. I’m not alone in this stand . Oh, yes statistics can prove anything, especially when they come from the subsidezed opera house itself

  7. Let me be as clear as I can. To call him a “Mortier-clone” is to show your ignorance. The season is up for all to see and judge and some of us actually know his work. Few “regie” – lots of creativity. A Peter Stein Tchiakovsky trio is not exactly radical – to most of us. It is good advice to stop talking about something you know nothing about.

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