Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard has announced the departure of Kasper Holten, Director of Opera who will be leaving the company in 2017.
In a letter to staff, Kasper Holten wrote that: “I love working at ROH – and with all the amazing colleagues here – and it feels very painful to let go of that in 2017. But when I moved to London, my partner and I didn’t have children. Now we do, and after much soul searching we have decided that we want to be closer to our families and inevitably that means we make Copenhagen our home where the children will grow up and go to school.
So when Alex offered me an extension of my contract for another five years beyond summer 2016, I have decided only to ask for an extension of seven months, giving the ROH time to plan for my succession and for me to continue the work as long as possible. I will therefore leave my position in March 2017 after Tony and I open our new production of Wagner’s Meistersinger here at ROH. But my work isn’t done yet, so please don’t do too many farewells quite yet!”
Holten joined the Royal Opera in 2011 and has become known for his controversial productions such William Tell earlier this year that have pushed boundaries and challenged audiences and will leave knowing that he has left his mark.
Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera said: ” I am very sad that he has decided he must leave, as I believe it will be a major loss for our Company, and for me personally. I wish him and his family the very best wishes for their future. Thank you Kasper for all that you have given to the ROH.”
Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Alex Beard added: “Although sad that Kasper will be leaving, I am pleased that he has agreed to extend his contract until his new Meistersinger opens here in 2017.”
Although Holten will remain at the Royal Opera House until March 2017, the search for his successor will begin in the New Year.