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ARTS IN THE NEWS: ABBADO LEAVES VIENNA

SHARE ARTS IN THE NEWS: ABBADO LEAVES VIENNA

Conductor Claudio Abbado recently resigned as music director of the Vienna State Opera, effective at the end of the 1991-92 season, for what he described as "health reasons." Abbado has been director of the company since 1986, and his contract was to run through 1997.

Abbado canceled September performances of Wagner's "Lohengrin" because of "exhaustion," under the advice of his physicians, but continued rehearsing a new production of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov."Reportedly, there had been disagreements between Abbado and the director of the opera, Eberhard Waechter, about the amount of time Abbado spends in Berlin as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Vienna Opera has also been criticized for not mounting enough new productions.

Abbado, 58, will return in 1993-94 to conduct one opera, "The Marriage of Figaro," and will also lead the Vienna Opera on a tour of Japan in fall 1994, conducting "Boris" and "Figaro." He also has considerable commitments to Austria's Salzburg Festival.

- GARTH FAGAN DANCE has been awarded a three-year grant of $360,000 by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, to support its touring schedule through the 1993-94 season.

With annual grants of more than $30 million, the Reader's Digest Fund is one of the largest private funders of the performing, visual and literary arts in the United States.

Also upcoming for the widely toured Fagan Dance is "Griot New York," a premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, on Dec. 4-7. (In West Africa, a griot is the keeper of oral history who entertains with stories, poems, songs and dances.) Fagan has created the choreography, with music by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

-In the field of opera, the fund has created the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest "Opera for a New America," a program of OPERA America, to support companies that demonstrate a commitment to reach currently under-served audiences and build stronger relationships with their communities.

Recipients of this year's community outreach grants are:

Cleveland Opera, $10,000 to adapt its "Opera 101" to include the city's large Hispanic community; Houston Grand Opera, $7,400 for outreach activities to accompany its May 1992 premiere of Bill T. Jones' dance-opera, "The Mother of Three Sons." And Los Angeles Music Center Opera, $10,000 for composer Ed Barnes to develop a work for high school students that will address the urban immigrant experience.

The Minnesota Opera, $10,000 for outreach activities in connection with its November production of "Snow Leopard" by William Harper. Pennsylvania Opera, $10,000 outreach to five schools based on "The Wild Goose Circus," by Melissa Shifflet. And Washington Opera, $10,000 for special presentations of "Savage Land" by Jin Xiang in January 1992.

- WIM VANDEKEYBUS of Belgium, 27-year-old dancer and choreographer, has joined the 1991-92 AT&T Dance Tour. His Ultima Vez company will tour nine U.S. cities under AT&T sponsorship. Others scheduled for the tour are the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Urban Bush Women.