International artists protest opera chief’s dismissal
A group of 16 opera personalities have sent an open letter to Norway’s minister of culture, appealing for her to reinstate Norway Opera’s artistic director Per Boye Hansen, whose contract has been terminated after a single term.
The appellants include the country’s most successful opera director, Stefan Herheim, and the Italian baroque conductor, Rinaldo Alessandrini. Text follows.
picture: performance in the Oslo Opera elevator
Dear Madam Minister,
We, the undersigned artists – conductors and directors – are addressing this appeal to you because we are extremely concerned about the current developments at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo.
We are all very proud of having been part of the artistic boom of the Norwegian National Opera since the appointment of Per Boye Hansen as Artistic Director.
After having aroused worldwide attention with the construction of a new opera house, it was only consistent to appoint an Artistic Director who will be capable to make the Norwegian National Opera one of the leading opera ensembles beyond Scandinavia. Per Boye Hansen has achieved this most successfully.
In the past two years, Per Boye Hansen has not only attracted international attention with convincing productions at the Norwegian National Opera, but has also remarkably committed himself to the support of the next generation of Norwegian and Scandinavian singers.
We do clearly consider Per Boye Hansen as one of the most renowned opera directors in Scandinavia and one of the most competent cultural managers throughout Europe.
Norway is lucky that such a renowned and internationally experienced artist has decided to return to Norway in order to devote all his creative energy to the development of the opera of his homeland.
It is therefore completely incomprehensible to every European observer of the cultural scene why such a positive development is to be interrupted at the very moment when his successful efforts are visibly bearing fruits internationally.
Madam Minister, we deeply hope that this worrying trend can still be reversed in order to avert imminent harm to the Norwegian and European cultural landscape.
Àlex Ollé (La Fura Dels Baus)
Sigrid Strøm Reibo
Ole Anders Tandberg