Scottish Opera Names General Director

Classic Arts News   Scottish Opera Names General Director
The Scottish Opera has appointed Alex Reedijk general director, the company announced today. Reedijk is currently general director of New Zealand Opera.

Reedijk will assume the post in February 2006, replacing interim director Richard Jarman. Jarman, a former director of the company, returned after CEO Christopher Barron resigned in April.

Reedijk takes over the company as it attempts to recover from a financial crisis that forced it to lay off 88 staff and chorus members and to shut down its mainstage productions for the entire 2005-06 season. Over the last year, all of the company's top leaders resigned: in addition to Barron's departure, chairman Duncan McGhie resigned in fall 2004 and music director Richard Armstrong left in July.

The new director will have to convince Scottish government officials, who have sometimes been skeptical about the company—former Scottish Arts Council head James Boyle reportedly called for its dissolution at one point—to invest in its survival.

"I am inspired by the deep potential inherent in the company and have a strong desire to help deliver the best in opera for the people of Scotland," Reedijk said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with our audience and the fine team at Scottish Opera, with the Scottish Arts Council, the culture minister—Patricia Ferguson MSP—and with all our many patient stakeholders in realizing a vision for a strong and successful opera company in Scotland."

Reedijk spent the 1980s and '90s as a freelance technical director, working with Scottish Opera, Opera Ireland, and other companies. Technical director of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts starting in 1991, he was named deputy executive director of the festival in 1998 and executive director in 2000. He was appointed to his New Zealand Opera post in 2002.

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