Slovak tenor Peter Dvorský.
"The reason why I have resigned is because of changes in SND," Dvorský told the private station Radio Twist. "[SND Director] Dušan Jamrich was fired, that was followed by the resignation of [former SND opera director Juraj] Hrubant. I left because I don't agree with a culture policy of this kind and also a transformation like this. Unfortunately, I cannot take it anymore."
Dvorský added that he would be willing to come back to the SND only if "they apologize to him [Jamrich], and initiate an election for the general director and the opera director."
Dvorsky's withdrawal stunned many, including Culture Minister Ivan Hudec, who has orchestrated the controversial personnel changes. "I received Dvorský's statement with great astonishment," Hudec said for the Slovak press agency TASR. "I have to stress that I consider him a great artist as well as my friend. I have always met with him at the ministry when he requested it."
But Hudec also took a swing at the opera singer that reflects how politics has poisoned all facets of life in Slovakia. "Unfortunately he recently did not express any desire to meet with me regarding SND's transformation. I have noticed, though, that he was attending all the events organized by for example Mr. President [Michal Kováč], or by people who are connected with the political opposition in Slovakia. I think of his actions and especially the way he did them as the expression of other people's will."
Reacting to Hudec's statement, Štefan Bučko, an SND actor and spokesman for the SND's strike committee said, "All of us are very sad that Dvorský left. Slovak opera will suffer because of it. It is unfortunate that even such a radical step did not change the minds of some people."
23. Oct 1996 at 0:00 | Andrea Lörinczová