Opera director Kasper Holten to leave Royal Opera in 2017

Wed Dec 9, 2015 2:32pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - Danish stage director Kasper Holten will step down as director of opera at the Royal Opera House at the end of March 2017 to spend more time with his family in Copenhagen, the ROH said on Wednesday.

Holten, 42, became director of Britain's premiere opera company in 2011 and made his directorial debut with the house with Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" in February 2013.

He developed a reputation for bringing riskier stagings to the ROH, but some, like the Onegin, met with mixed critical reception.

In a letter to staff, Holten said he had agreed to stay on an extra seven months while a successor is found.

"I love working at ROH – and with all the amazing colleagues here – and it feels very painful to let go of that in 2017. But when I moved to London, my partner and I didn’t have children," Holten said in the letter contained in a statement from the ROH.

"Now we do, and after much soul searching we have decided that we want to be closer to our families and inevitably that means we make Copenhagen our home where the children will grow up and go to school."

He said he had timed his departure to allow him to work with music director Antonio Pappano on a new production of Wagner's "Meistersinger".