Sam Mendes has pulled out of directing his first opera at the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival in England.
The acclaimed theatre director was due to helm a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni for his highly-anticipated opera debut at the annual British event.
But he has now backed out, insisting his new U.S. theatre company "turned out to be much more time and energy-consuming than I ever could have guessed, and has tied me almost permanently to New York".
Mendes is adamant the cancellation was made with "great regret" and has nothing to do with the cast or production.
Jonathan Kent has signed up to replace Mendes at the Sussex, England festival.