Dohnanyi cancels Hungary appearances in protest

By the Associated Press | October 23, 2011 | 6:01 PM EDT

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary's State Opera says German conductor Cristoph von Dohnanyi has canceled a pair of appearances to protest the appointment of a theater director linked to far-right groups.

Dohnanyi said in a letter released Friday by the Hungarian State Opera that he does not want to "appear in a city whose mayor entrusted the direction of a theater to two known, extreme right-wing anti-Semites."

Mayor Istvan Tarlos' recent appointment of Gyorgy Dorner was widely criticized by Jewish organizations, as well as a large group of directors of other Budapest theaters.

Dorner has named Istvan Csurka, a playwright and former lawmaker known for anti-Semitic speeches and articles, as his deputy.

The Opera said it was considering suing Dohnanyi for compensation.