Why does Royal Opera give its boss an open-ended contract?

Most European opera houses put their artistic directors on fixed-term contracts of three or five years, renewable by mutual agreement.

The Covent Garden advertisement for Kasper Holten’s successor as Director of opera at the ROH stipulates that the job is permanent.

Job security may be good for the nerves, but it means higher severance settlements if things go wrong. All the artists are on fixed-term contracts. There are no other jobs for life.

The advertisement is posted here. You have a month to apply.

No salary stipulated. A headhunter is on the case.

kasper holten

UPDATE: Er, no. Someone filled in the ad incorrectly. See here.

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  • Why does it mean higher severance? If you need to fire someone mid-contract, you normally have to pay the remainder of the contract.

    As for not having anyone permanent, as far as I know, Pappano is on a rolling contract, so it would make sense to have a director of opera who doesn’t have an expiry date either, right?

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