Rumors that Neeme Kuningas, the Estonia Opera's creative director for the last 36 years, would not be signed to a new contract were confirmed yesterday.
"I have registered myself as unemployed, as I don't have any contracts in the field right now," said Kuningas in response to a question from Eesti Päevaleht.
His existing one-year contract expired in May. He told the daily he was leaving with "regret but no bitterness."
The theater is making a transition to relying on several directors rather than one central figure.
"I'd like to be a fatalist and philosopher, but I am from a specialized field - if an opera director in Estonia is told to become a freelancer, that's a sad irony," Kuningas said.