Dutch opera company faces shutdown
June 14, 2011 by Norman Lebrecht
The smoke has yet to clear on the Dutch front line since last Friday’s Cabinet decision but word has just reached me of a significant closure provoked by the government’s arts cuts.
The National Touring Opera lost 60 percent of its subsidy and is ceasing operations, its artistic administrator, Nicolas Mansfield reports in a comment on Slipped Disc. Mansfield was due to succeed Guus Mostart in 2013 as artistic director.
The Nationale Reisopera takes between four and six opera productions to fifteen large theatres across the country each year. There are well-known operas from the standard repertoire and less familiar works from the Baroque period as well as contemporary operas. Current work includes Wagner’s Ring, Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor. The website has put up a petition for supporters to sign.
State funds for the performing arts have been cut from Euros 236 million to 156 million.
LATE EXTRA: In a subsequent message to the industry, Nicolas Mansfield has clarified his previous post:
The Dutch government has announced that they intend to cut us by 60% as of 1st January 2013. The consequences of such a cut are obvious and we are clearly fighting our corner on all fronts in order to get this decision reversed. We are most certainly not closing the Nationale Reisopera with immediate effect and it is business as usual until the end of 2012.
Hopefully things will be clearer soon and we can look forward to a new chapter in our future.
With many thanks for the warm messages of support we are receiving. Spread the word!
All best wishes,
From other sources, it appears that the only survival hope for Reiseopera is for Opera Zuid to be liquidated. There is not enough money for both to continue fulltime operations.
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