Holender rumoured for Budapest job

Outgoing State Opera director Ioan Holender is to become head of the Budapest State Opera, according to reports.Viennese newspapers claim today (Fri) that the 74-year-old Romanian-born director was in talks with Hungarian federal culture chiefs over taking over as creative director of the capital’s opera house.Holender headed the Vienna State Opera for 18 years. Frenchman Dominique Meyer is to take over later this year.Holender, who was recently awarded the Golden Honorary Medal of the City of Vienna, currently presents “Termin bei Holender” (Appointment with Holender), a chat show on Austrian private broadcaster ATV.Holender said he was looking forward to having more time for playing tennis – before speculations about his possible assignment in Budapest emerged.The infamously outspoken former opera singer has caused controversy over the years in Vienna by opposing the media hype around the city’s glamorous Opera Ball.Holender tried to keep the number of days the opera house needed to stop performing because of the event as few as possible, and criticised live TV coverage of the high society get-together.”It’s a mystery to me why so many people watch it [national broadcaster ORF’s coverage] as it lasts hours and is boring,” he said ahead of this year’s ball which was attended by TV starlet Katie Price and talent show juror Dieter Bohlen.