Jun 12, 2013

By Scott Walker

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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Conductor Richard Mills has withdrawn from this fall’s presentation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Sydney because of a problem of “personal chemistry” between himself and members of the cast.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.

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