Singers in uproar over new British director

Singers in uproar over new British director


norman lebrecht

March 28, 2017

Solists at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet are in uproar over leaked plans by the incoming general director, Annilese Miskimmon, to cut the number of singers maintained on staff.

The anxious performers have posted a bellicose picture on their Facebook page.

They are also concerned about their diminishing pension fund.

Ms Miskimmon starts work in July.




  • Steven Holloway says:

    I predict a rough ride for Ms. Miskimmon in Norway. They do things very differently there — very, very publicly. She has done well as a director, but this appointment will test whatever she may have learnt about arts management in her studies thereof at London City University, ahem. This proposal to dispose of singers is not the best way to start. And that diminishing pension fund will have singers keeping an eye of her income tax returns — all returns are public in Norway. Would that we had such openness in the U.K. — and very currently in Washington, of course.

    • Anonimouse says:

      She has already run two companies, of course…

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Not in Norway, she hasn’t. And given her opening gambit, I’m not sure she learnt an awful lot either at the LCU or running the previous two companies.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Bad start anywhere, but in Norway it could as well be called ‘karriere selvmord.’

  • Alysa Vass says:

    I do believe that their concerns are quite reasonable. It really isn’t a smart move by the director. I wonder how this whole thing will go.

    • Kristin Rustad Høiseth says:

      The management has wanted and worked for this decision long before Miskimmon entered (regards from opera singer in the choir)

  • Insider says:

    She ran The Danish National Opera (Den Jyske Opera) And I can can confirm that Annilese Miskimmon was a disaster for the organisation and the employees. She had little interest in cooperation or respect for the singers, technical staff or administration. She spend most of her time NOT taking care of her company, but nursing her own career. Planning was always very very very late and her quite bizar directing was also saved by her poor assistent directors, that actually new what was supposed to happen. She’s very good at convincing you how interested she is in you and how she’s can learn from you too, and that her leadership fits in the Scandinavian way of doing things. No, no and no. Poor, poor Norwegian Opera you’re in for a hard time. She doesn’t walk the talk

  • ftbftb says:

    actually, Miskimmon is just carrying the can for the past actions of Per Boye Hansen in oslo and other incompetent management. all she wants is to be able to hire good freelance singers for the opera but the ensemble singers don’t want the competition for lead roles. She did fabulous work in Aarhus- i can guarantee as a member of the company who worked there -and Oslo are extremely lucky to have her. she got rid of incompetent people and stands up to bullies and protects her staff and the art and makes great shows herself. if only more leaders were like her we would have less dysfunctional companies and less bad art. she has to put up with endless aggression from
    less professional and talented peoplw who cannot stand that she will not obey their will. . they are the problem not her. it is embarrassing to watch their bad behaviour while she remains totally professional.