Daniel Barenboim has been Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the Berlin State Opera since 1992. In addition to this job, and to performing as a concert pianist and to various appearances as guest conductor around the world, Barenboim is also music director of Milan’s La Scala. Barenboim also runs the West Eastern Divan, the orchestra that brings together young Arab and Israeli musicians. This year, he opened his very own music academy in Berlin, the Barenboim-Said Academy. It seems that this, a third musical university in Berlin, was established at great cost to the taxpayer mainly to flatter Barenboim’s ego.
Barenboim had really done much to develop, maintain and nurture the Staatskapelle orchestra, but now he has either grown tired or simply lost interest. He should let go and let someone else take over. The decline in the quality musically, (The new production of Figaro conducted without inspiration by Gustavo Dudamel, is a case in point.), is not aided by the bad productions of Jürgen Flimm, the Staatsoper’s Intendant.
Fortunately, Flimm will be leaving next year; unfortunately, he is stocking up the opera company with his own productions that are likely to stay as the house productions for years to come. Not to be unmentioned is the fact, that Barenboim should not have invited Flimm - with his terrible track record at the Salzburg Festival - to become Intendant of the Berlin State Opera.