New York swoops for European opera boss

It ended quickly in tears when the late New York City Opera appointed Gerard Mortier as its director. But this is different.

Park Avenue Armory, Manhattan’s edgy, ex-military art space, has named Pierre Audi, director of Dutch National Opera, as its next artistic director. He will shuttle between the two jobs, taking on Park Avenue to fill the gap in his life left by stepping down from running the Holland Festival.

This is a seriously cool move on both sides. Pierre, 57, Lebanese-born and multicultural, has been wired in to live contemporary art ever since he launched the Almeida theatre in London, back in 1979. His artistic taste and commercial nous are evenly balanced. He has put Holland, firmly and for the first time, on the opera map.

Park Avenue has hired an operatic mover and shaker, right on the Met’s doorstep.

pierre audi

photo: Erwin Olaf

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  • With respect, Hans DeRoo ‘put Holland on the operatic map’ with his continuous promotion of music theatre directed by Goetz Friedrich Harry Kupfer, David Pountney and others. DeRoo brought Russian and Czech opera to the west in the cold war era. In addition he was one of the first to engage Harnoncourt for early music. Although DeRoo continuously promoted Dutch artists he also brought Malfitano, Ramey, Battle, Shicoff and other rising stars to Holland. I believe it was Hans DeRoo who tirelessly fought the government for the new opera house. Lets not forget Hans DeRoo. Audi has been excellent but he had a firm legacy to build on.

  • Absolutely correct: it was Hans de Roo who laid the foundations for this innovattive company. Especially the beginning of his tenure was remarkable.

  • First I thought: finally!!! But then I read that Audi is still staying in the Netherlands, when will he ever leave DNO?!?

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