Jun 12, 2013
By Scott Walker
Opera Australia has placed a help-wanted ad: “Wanted: conductor. Must be experienced in the music of Wagner.”
Conductor Richard Mills has withdrawn from this fall’s presentation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Sydney because of a problem of “personal chemistry” between himself and members of the cast.
“The Australian” newspaper is quoting sources who say that Mills and a senior member of the cast had a “spectacular blow-up” over Mills inexperience in conducting Wagner’s massive operas.
The source says it wasn’t a question of Mills being unprepared, simply inexperienced in conducting Wagner.
Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini denies Mills was inexperienced.
The 63-year-old Mills has a long history with Opera Australia. He is also Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera.
A search is on for a replacement conductor. Rehearsals are already underway for the Ring Cycle.