21 December 2016

Vienna State Opera Taps Sony Music Executive Bogdan Rosic to Replace Intendant Dominique Meyer in 2020

THE VIENNA STATE OPERA has announced that Bogdan Rosic, head of the classical division at Sony Music, has been tapped as the company's next artistic director, and will succeed the company's current intendant, Dominique Meyer, beginning with the 2020-21 season. 

News of Rosic's appointment made waves in the opera world on Wednesday, as Meyer had previously expressed interest in continuing his association with the company past the term of his current contract, which is set to end in 2020. In a statement issued to the press, Meyer said, “to my regret, I was told that my contract will not be prolonged.” The news of Meyer's replacement was particularly surprising in light of the State Opera's relatively robust box office performance during his tenure, with the company having filled more than ninety-eight percent of its seat capacity last year. Meyer's tenure, which included the creation of an online streaming platform for State Opera performances, has not been without conflict, though: in September 2014, conductor Franz Welser-Möst quit his post as the Vienna State Opera's music director and withdrew from all of his scheduled performances as a result of what he characterized as "irreconcilable differences of opinion regarding the company's artistic planning and profile."

Rosic's appointment was announced by Austrian culture minister Thomas Drozda, who was quoted as saying telling The Associated Press that handing Rosic the company's reins was an effort to establish the State Opera as “the leading institution of our cultural landscape.” 

A native of Belgrade, Roscic, 52, previously served as managing director of Decca Music Group in London. He began his career as pop-music critic at the Viennese newspaper Die Presse, and went on to serve as the head of Media, Politics and Pop at the Kurier. In 1993 he became music director at Austria's biggest radio station Ö3 and became the station's chief in 1996. In 2003, Roscic became artistic director of Deutsche Grammophon, and he joined Sony in April 2009. During his time at Sony, Roscic recruited a roster of artists that included Teodor Currentzis and his orchestra and chorus MusicAeterna—which were tapped to record the trio of Mozart-Da Ponte operas—as well as singers including Sonya Yoncheva and Pretty Yende, who the label featured alongside mainstays like Plácido Domingo and Jonas Kaufmann. 

One of the busiest and most prominent opera houses in the world, the State Opera employs more than 1,000 people and has an annual operating budget of nearly 100 million euros; during a season, the company presents nearly 350 performances of more than sixty different operas and ballets. spacer 

More information can be found at The New York Times, The Guardian and the Vienna State Opera.

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