The imperturbable and generally invisible Jan Raes, who lost his job last month as managing director of the conductorless Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, has now been appointed interim CEO of Opera Ballet Flanders in Belgium.
He replaces Bart van der Roost, who was ousted last month after running up a 1.3 million Euro deficit.
Raes, 60, will hold the fort on an eight-month contract (he is also in the running to head the Bozar concert hall in Brussels).
Raes’s appointment in Flanders has come under attack from Peter de Caluwe, head of La Monnaie, who says there is no crisis and no need for an extra pen-pusher: ‘I see a trend here that worries me. Art institutions are increasingly seen as companies. However, the main task of such a house is to create opera and dance. In all the leading opera houses in the world, this is still done with intendants and artistic leaders. I just advocate empowering and trusting artistic leaders as much as possible. Not to put someone above them.’