24 Apr 2012

Uwe Eric Laufenberg Resigns

The director of the Cologne Opera, Uwe Eric Laufenberg, has confirmed at the press conference this afternoon that he will leave his post at the end of the coming season. His contract runs until 2016.

Describing the city’s opera as “on its deathbed,” he is leaving due to financial issues with the cash-strapped city. The coming season was planned anticipated a contribution by the city of 54.1 million Euros but only 49 million was thought to be offered.

An increase of 2 million suggested by the city was rejected by Laufenberg as insufficient to guarantee the season. During the press conference, held to announce the new season, he declared that only the first opera of the season has a definitive budget; the rest of the season’s figures were more or less “open.”

The seat of the city’s Cultural Affairs Minister was notably vacant during the press conference. The minister, Georg Quander, had urged further discussions on the financial issues and was angry that this affair was made public.

Frank Cadenhead