Sir Donald Runnicles to leave Deutsche Oper Berlin as early as 2026
Press release of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe from 1 September 2023
Sir Donald Runnicles yesterday (31 August 2023) informed the Senator for Culture and Social Cohesion, Joe Chialo, and his orchestra board that he would like to end his contract as General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, which runs until 2027, already in 2026. This would open the door to a comprehensive new artistic start for the new artistic director of the house, Aviel Cahn. Mr Runnicles will increasingly move his centre of life to the USA for family reasons.
Senator Joe Chialo commented on the surprising news: "It is with great regret that I have received Sir Donald Runnicles' decision to leave Deutsche Oper Berlin as General Music Director as early as 2026. I fully understand his decision and look with great respect on the musical work of Mr Runnicles, under whose leadership Deutsche Oper Berlin has established itself as a pillar of Berlin's opera and cultural landscape with international appeal."
Sir Donald Runnicles added to his decision: "I have experienced an extremely enriching time in my years as General Music Director at this wonderful opera house with its great artists and highly motivated staff, and I look forward to the three years still ahead of us. The fact that our next joint premiere will be Puccini's IL TRITTICO, but that we have also staged a number of works by Janáček, Britten and of course Wagner, such as not least the new production of the RING DES NIBELUNGEN, shows the extreme musical range of this house. The guest performance of Wagner's TANNHÄUSER, which was just celebrated at the Edinburgh Festival, is a sign of the high international recognition of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, to which I feel deeply attached in its artistic orientation. I am all the more delighted to remain associated with the house in Mr Cahn's opening season with the new production of Britten's WAR REQUIEM."