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Austrian conductor dead after collapse at German opera

Austrian conductor Stefan Soltesz has died after collapsing during a performance in Munich, the city's opera house said.    

a view of the National theater in Munich,
A picture taken on May 8, 2019 shows a view of the National theater in Munich, southern Germany. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The maestro of Hungarian extraction held the baton at opera houses in Vienna, Graz, Hamburg and Berlin during his long career.

“With dismay and deep sadness, the Bavarian State Opera must announce the death of Stefan Soltesz,” it said late on Friday in a statement.

Soltesz died late on Friday “after a collapse while conducting ‘The Silent Woman’ by Richard Strauss at the National Theatre” in Munich, it said. He was 73 years old.

No details on his cause of death were immediately available.

The general director of the Bavarian State Opera, Serge Dorny, tweeted he was “deeply saddened” by Soltesz’s death.

“We lose a talented conductor,” he said. “I lose a good friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Michaela.”

Soltesz served as musical director of the state theatre of Brunswick in central Germany from 1988 to 1993 and chief conductor of the Flemish Opera in Antwerp and Ghent from 1992 to 1997, followed by engagements in the western German city of Essen.

He debuted on the Bavarian State Opera stage in 1995.

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CULTURE

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday made a push for equal pay for men and women international footballers after Germany's successful run at the recent European Championships.

Pay women footballers the same as men, says German chancellor

“My position on this is clear,” Scholz said after a meeting with the German Football Association (DFB) to discuss the issue.

“We talked about how we can continue to help more girls and women get excited about football. Of course, the wages at such tournaments play a major role in this,” he said.

“That’s why it makes sense to discuss equal pay. I made the suggestion and I’m very grateful that there is a willingness to discuss this issue.”

Germany scored their biggest major tournament success since 2015 at this year’s European Championships, losing to England in the final at Wembley.

Scholz attended the final and also supported the women’s team by tweeting: “It’s 2022, and women and men should be paid equally. This also applies to sport, especially for national teams.”

READ ALSO: Scholz to cheer on Germany at Euro 2022 final

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP headquarters on Tuesday.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) visits the DFP (German Football Association) headquarters on Tuesday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sebastian Gollnow

Germany’s women would have received €60,000 each if they had triumphed at the tournament, while the men would have received €400,000 each had they prevailed at the Euros last year.

Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB, said he understood the argument “that equal work and success should also have the same value”.

“I’m willing to discuss in our committees whether our payment system is up to date or whether it should be adjusted,” he said.

Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg suggested that international footballers’ wages could be evened out by paying women more and men less.

Officials must now “follow up with action” after the meeting, she said in an interview with the ZDF broadcaster.

Scholz said he was “very, very proud” of the women’s performance at the Euros, even if “it didn’t quite work out”.

“I hope it will have a long-lasting effect, not only on the players themselves… but also on football in Germany,” he said.

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