Prime minister sees out opera chief

Prime minister sees out opera chief


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2018

The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has posted a picture of himself thanking Pierre Audi for 30 years of running Dutch National Opera.

Really nice.


Translation: After 30 years, Pierre Audi has retired as director of De Nationale Opera, which under his leadership has grown into one of the leading opera houses in the world. Today I thanked him for his great achievements for the development of the opera and the music theater.


  • Pianoronald says:

    Has Theresa May ever been to Covent Garden? (I mean the opera house, not the market)

  • Peter Bogaert says:

    It might be interesting to point out that this politician, in his first term, was in the end responsible for cutting about one fifth of the Dutch budget for culture… which led to the massive cuts and savings in the sector in The Netherlands over the last 8 years…

    • Robert Groen says:

      Rutte has been in charge of a campaign of cultural vandalism since he took office. Never saw him at the Muziektheater either. But that could be because I was always in the cheap seats. Mixed feelings about Audi. He’s dome some great things (most recently Gurrelieder) and presided over some prize turkeys as well. (Flying Dutchman, Don Giovanni and (but this is purely personal taste) three quarters of Wagner’s Ring. Didn’t like it, but was gobsmacked by the sudden inspiration he showed in Siegfried. I will emphasize, though, that my opinion is mine. Others have theirs and I know he is, in certain quarters, highly thought of. Not a dwarf among regisseurs, by any means.

      • John Borstlap says:

        I fully agree about Gurrelieder and Siegfried. But he also committed silly gaffes. Quite a character.

        But the prime minister’s gesture is beneath contempt – everybody in the country’s cultural field knows that he would prefer to cancel all support for any cultural institution, since the ony thing his party finds worthwhile is money. For such people, culture is mere hobbyism and entirely irelevant to the important things of life. He represents the worst of Dutch ‘trading spirit’: if it can be sold, it must be good – independent of its meaning or quality. A proletarian, anti-European anti-cultural mentality, entirely pedestrian and populist, a dark pit of ignorance and arrogance.

  • db says:

    Politicians. Only culture-minded when it gives them a chance for publicity.

  • mario lutz says:

    It’s really incredible this picture. This kind of gesture is hardly find in our country even with successful people in the arts and culture affairs… Oh Queen Máxima of the Netherlands send some of that to your homeland!!

  • Fred says:

    it’s meaningless as Audi’s 30 years were thirty years too much, his ‘reign’ was a shambles and typical for subsidized theatres. As for Rutte, he can at least play the piano so a complete disaster he ain’t, but playing the piano doesn’t guarantee good taste as audi’s reign was as said a disaster.

  • John de Jong says:

    Audi has done a great job in Amsterdam. Thank you very much!