Lyall was fired by board president John Lovell Jr. earlier this month for reasons that may have to do with an unsatisfactory contract that he was asked to sign. The Times-Picayune's sources say that the contract would have reduced Lyall's authority and made him vulnerable to being fired at any time, without cause. He would not resign, and so was fired.
A news release announced that the company would begin a national search for a new artistic director.
Although the board's executive committee had ratified the decision to terminate Lyall, the rest of the board, about 50 members, held an emergency meeting last week and voted to reinstate him under the terms of his previous contract.
New board officers go up for election next month, which could change the outcome once again.
Lyall would not comment on why he was fired, but told the Times-Picayune that it "probably was bound up with our upcoming election of officers."
He added that he did not think it had anything to do with the quality of the productions under his leadership.