Conductor Dinis Sousa © Sim Canetty-Clarke

­­­­­­­­26 August to 18 September 2023­ Musikfest Berlin:

Dinis Sousa takes over the musical direction of the semi-staged performance of Hector Berlioz’ “Les Troyens“

Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras informed the tour organizers involved in the “Les Troyens“ project – the Berliner Festspiele’s Musikfest Berlin, the Salzburg Festival, the Château de Versailles Spectacles and the BBC Proms – that John Eliot Gardiner is handing over his conducting duties to his Associate Conductor Dinis Sousa.­

Official statement from Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras:
“John Eliot Gardiner has decided not to return to conduct the remaining performances of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras’ (MCO) tour of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. The upcoming concerts at Salzburg, Versailles, Berlin and the BBC Proms will be conducted by Dinis Sousa, MCO’s Associate Conductor, who has worked closely with John Eliot and the musicians throughout the rehearsal process.
We continue to look into the events that occurred on Tuesday evening. Our values of respect and inclusivity are fundamental to us as a company and we take seriously the welfare of all our performers and employees.”

John Eliot Gardiner has made the following personal statement:

“I deeply regret the incident which occurred at the Festival Berlioz at La Côte-Saint-André on Tuesday evening and apologise unreservedly for losing my temper immediately after the performance. I make no excuses for my behaviour and have apologised personally to Will Thomas, for whom I have the greatest respect. I do so again, and to the other artists, for the distress that this has caused. I realise how much this has affected all the participants involved in this major project and which has been so dear to my heart. 
I have returned to the UK and have decided to withdraw from conducting all the remaining performances of Les Troyens. I wish Dinis Sousa and all the musicians great success for the remaining concerts on the tour.
I know that physical violence is never acceptable and that musicians should always feel safe. I ask for your patience and understanding as I take time to reflect on my actions.”

The semi-staged performance of the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, which will take place in the Philharmonie on September 1 as part of the Musikfest Berlin, will now be conducted by Dinis Sousa.
Tickets already purchased remain valid.

­­­­­Biography of Dinis Sousa

Dinis Sousa is Principal Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, a position he has held since April 2021. During his tenure the orchestra have performed at the BBC Proms twice, with soloists Kristian Bezuidenhout and Nicholas Daniel. During the 2023/24 season, they will present a complete cycle of Robert Schumann’s symphonies at Sage Gateshead in addition to his choral masterpiece “Das Paradies und die Peri”. Other highlights include a world premiere by Cassandra Miller, collaborations with soloists Christian Tetzlaff, Steven Isserlis and Elizabeth Leonskaja and several performances around the UK including Birmingham and Cardiff.

During the 2023/24 season Dinis will make his debut with the Swedish Radio and Iceland Symphony Orchestras and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as returning to Edmonton Symphony and the Riga Sinfonietta. Recent engagements have included the BBC Philharmonic, Gulbenkian and Ulster Orchestras and two programmes at the Bach Carmel Festival. His operatic experience includes Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” (Nevill Holt Opera) and Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” (Orquestra XXI).

Dinis has a close association with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and his ensembles; holding the position of Associate Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras. Highlights of his tenure include co-conducting the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s “Roméo et Juliette” at the BBC Proms, and conducting the English Baroque Soloists in Colombia.

Dinis is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra which brings together some of the best young Portuguese musicians from around Europe to perform in the most prestigious venues in Portugal. Recent highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation season and a critically acclaimed tour of Mahler’s Symphony No 5 to celebrate the orchestra’s 10th anniversary. In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal.