By Kwon Mee-yoo
|Yun Ho-gen / Korea Times file|
Yun had a farewell ceremony Tuesday and said he would return to the life of an artist.
"I am very sorry that the status of the opera is damaged by conflicts of interest. I sincerely hope that the KNO can return to normalcy soon and strive only for presenting the best performance for audiences," Yun said at the ceremony.
Yun, former artistic director of KNO, was dismissed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in May 2019 over allegations of unfair hiring practices in 2018. However, Yun denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against the ministry.
The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of Yun on March 6, which nullified the culture ministry's dismissal and returned Yun to his position as the KNO's head. The court's decision put the KNO in an awkward situation as Park Hyung-sik was named Yun's successor last September and currently serves as artistic and general director of the state opera.
The two-directors-under-one-roof situation ended after 18 days as Yun voluntarily resigned. As the culture ministry decided to forego appealing the court's ruling, Yun thought he recovered his honor and stepped down for the normal operation of the national troupe.
Yun is a renowned opera conductor, who was the associate conductor of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera), before joining the KNO. During his reign at the KNO, Yun staged Rossini's "Guillaume Tell," Kurt Weill's "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" and Choi Woo-jung's "1945."
Meanwhile, the KNO canceled "La Fanciulla del West," an opera by Puccini originally scheduled for April 8-11, due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19.