Romania moves to end opera turmoil with new manager

AP News
Posted: Apr 20, 2016 2:58 PM
Romania moves to end opera turmoil with new manager

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's culture minister said Wednesday he would appoint a manager of "international standing" at the Romanian Opera, which has been torn apart by a bitter dispute involving international ballerina Alina Cojocaru.

Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu says the opera house has been riddled by "imbalances and structural dysfunctionality," and that an interim manager would implement a three-month plan before the new appointment.

Alexandrescu announced Cojocaru, a principal dancer at the English National Ballet, would be reinstated after refusing to dance the lead in "Manon."

Cojocaru had claimed there was an atmosphere of "fear and intimidation."

Danish ballet dancer and choreographer Johan Kobborg, who recently resigned citing pressure from managers, would also be reinstated, Alexandresc said.

Under the previous management, a dispute erupted with some employees shouting "Out with foreigners!" claiming Kobborg was overpaid.

After Alexandrescu's announcement Wednesday, fresh protests broke out at the opera. Artists said they would no longer go on stage and demanded the minister's resignation.

Soprano Irina Iordachescu accused Alexandrescu of "destroying the destiny" of the opera.