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Germany

Deutsche Oper Director Quits over Money

Berlin's opera wars have flared again, this time taking down the general director of the Deutsche Oper, based in the western part of the city. Conductor Christian Thielemann announced on Tuesday he was stepping down over a dispute about funding. Thielmann complained that the rival Staatsoper, based in the east, was getting a better deal from the city and demanded equal treatment. But after a meeting with Berlin's top cultural official, Thomas Flierl, who offered the conductor only half of what he demanded, Thielemann said he was leaving. The German capital has been faced with an acute problem of arts funding since reunification, which brought together cultural venues formerly on two sides of the Berlin Wall. The city's ability to support its three opera houses has been seriously in doubt, especially since municiple debt totals some €47 billion ($75 billion). It is unclear when exactly Thielemann will leave Deutsche Oper; no replacement has yet been named.