Italian maestro calls Lithuania boycott

The National Opera of Lithuania has received a letter from Gianluca Marciano, announcing his decision to boycott the company following the dismissal of its general director on corruption charges.

Marciano a popular guest at the theatre said the dismissal of  Gintautas Kėvišas was a horrible mistake and a great loss to Lithuanian music. He wrote: ‘Jealousy and politically motivated acts should not affect culture. Kėvišas brought to the Lithuanian audience wonderful orchestras and soloists, won himself recognition by highest professionalism. It is a shame this is not understood by his country’s government.’

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  • Gintautas Kevisas, the long-standing director general of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater (LNOBT), is being dismissed from his post, the Culture Ministry said LETA/BNS.
    Culture Minister Liana Ruokyte-Jonsson made the decision to sack the LNOBT head based on a recommendation by an investigation commission set up by the Culture Ministry.
    The commission found that Kevisas had systematically placed himself in conflict of interest situations.
    The commission established that, in addition to his duties as the LNOBT head, Kevisas had had employment relations with several other organizations and had sought and derived personal benefit from that.
    The commission also took into account the Chief Official Ethics Commission’s ruling that Kevisas had put himself in a conflict of interest situation by making decision regarding Riverside Music LTD, a company of Martynas Kevisas, the director’s son. The company organized performances by three foreign performers and orchestra, for which 390,000 euros were paid.
    Given the systematic nature and the scope of the violations, the commission recommended that the culture minister impose the strictest disciplinary sanction on Kevisas, which is dismissal from office.
    The minister’s decision on Kevisas’ dismissal took effect immediately.

  • This all campaign against Lithuanian Opera is a complete scam aroused by certain media groups and few politicians. The General Manager of Lithuanian Opera was fired without any proof but seeking quick and populist results by a new populist party which is sinking in scandals itself. It is certain that Gintautas Kevisas as many other recently fired officers shall be reinstated by court. Unfortunately situations when incompetent politicians fire executives of public institutions without clear reasons and courts reinstate them back became a norm (and a very costly one) in Lithuania.

  • Still, there is ant other opinion, represented by majority of Lithuanian media, including national broadcaster (the only “defender” is newsgroup “Lietuvos rytas”, which long enough expresses sympathy for G.Kėvišas): the General Manager was sacked not because of political reasons, but due to his incompatible behavior purchasing and organizing these three concerts, (formally organised by his son’s managed “Riverside music LTD”) – it is mentioned in the article. Nobody’s questioning G.Kėvišas experience and worldwide acknowledged professionalism, but still – he works at the theater, as well as at „Riverside music LTD“, established by his son, but in reality, controlled by himself. Hi declared, that he has earned approx. 600 k euro in 2010 at this company. National commission of ethics as well confirmed suspicions, that he was organizing some concerts for “Vilniaus festivalis” (founded by G.Kėvišas) even while was on a business trip as the head of the national Opera theater. So, it’s the readers and court to decide – deserved he to be fired, or not.

  • The funny thing is that the Minister of Culture Ms. Ruokyte has said herself that there is no legal way to fire Mr. Kevisas as nothing illegal is done. For almost half a year she has done nothing else except for looking how to fire Mr. Kevisas. Yes, indeed this scandal was a great story for the Lithuanian media. I would only add that the national broadcaster had a very neutral opinion on the story.

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