Royal Opera artistic director quits after budget cuts

January 24th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Keith Warner says budget cuts make it impossible to realise his ambitions for the company

Keith Warner, the artistic director of the Royal Opera, has resigned following the Royal TheatreÂ’s significant budget cuts. According to the Royal Theatre, Warner announced at a staff meeting on Monday night that he has asked to be released from his contract, which was slated to run until July 2014.

“It is with great sadness that I feel I must resign,” Warner said in a statement. “The recent devastating budget cuts make it impossible for me to realise my big dreams for the company.”

The Royal Theatre will receive 100 million kroner less in state support over the next four years. The funding cuts forced the theatre to cut its staff by 81, including 33 artistic positions.

Warner got down on his knees at a free concert that performers staged earlier this month to protest the cutbacks and pleaded with the full house in attendance: “Please, save my chorus!”

Warner said that his decision had nothing to do with his co-workers and called the entire staff “beyond reproach”.

Theatre manager Erik Jacobsen said he was sorry to see Warner go.

“I am deeply sorry that Keith Warner does not want to stay in Copenhagen,” he said.

Jacobsen said that he and the board will be working to ensure a smooth transition until they find a new artistic director. He said that until a new director is appointed, the current ensemble manager Sven Müller will be in charge of the company.

Jacobsen assured the public that the theatre’s repertoire, which is planned two years into the future, would not be affected by Warner’s resignation.

Keith Warner took up the post as artistic director in July 2011, after being chosen from a field of 47 other applicants.


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