Munich's cultural scene likes scandals. And it is being turned into a scandal that Music Director Kent Nagano announced this week that he will not renew his contract with the Bavarian State Opera beyond 2013.
Kent Nagano's decision may not come as a surprise, but the way it came about rocks the German cultural landscape, and the conductor's temperately worded statement hints at the tensions between culture and politics that have been running high in the Bavarian capital.
"It's not the fact that he is leaving, that upsets me," opera critic Klaus J. Kalchschmid told Deutsche Welle, "but the fact that he was forced to do so by deliberate leaks to the press."
A few days earlier, Bavaria's Sueddeutsche Zeitung had suggested that Nagano received a call from the Bavarian Secretary for Science, Research, and Art Wolfgang Heubisch (a dentist by trade), who allegedly told the music director that he would be at liberty to chose the moment when he would announce "his decision" not to renew his contract.
Read the full article at Deutsche Welle's website.