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Avant-garde opera director Gerard Mortier dies aged 70

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Avant-garde opera director Gerard Mortier dies aged 70

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Belgian avant-garde opera director Gerard Mortier, known for his non-conformist approach, has died at the age of 70 after battling cancer.

Mortier was in charge of the Paris Opera from 2004 to 2009, and ran the celebrated Salzburg Festival from 1991 to 2001. Until September last year, he was artistic director of Madrid’s Teatro Real opera house.

That was where he famously commissioned an operatic adaptation of gay cowboy epic Brokeback Mountain, attending its premiere in January despite declining health.