I can save the House!
Royal Opera House chief executive Mary Allen has claimed that her plans will ensure the House's future and so she will not resign. Howevere the select committee's report was more critical of her than of anyone else, even chairman Lord Chadlington, who was criticised for not appointing a new finance director for nearly a year and for not revising the plans for the closure period which ensured that a fragile financial position became acute.
Allen's explanation of her move from ACE to the House, already the subject of much adverse and critical comment in the business, was described as "convoluted" and "entirely unconvincing", and her conduct fell "seriously below" the standards expected of someone in her position. She should not, the report concluded, be allowed to serve on Sir Richard Eyre's review panel.
Does opera have a future?
Scottish Opera general director Ruth Mackenzie has suggested that the word opera has "negative connotations" and should be dropped. Speaking at the BBC Radio 3 conference in Cambridge she suggested that opera is regarded as elitist, white and middle class and that urgent action is needed to make it more accessible and open to new audiences. More operas should be sung in English, she said, and all companies should go on tour and play in spaces where opera has not been performed before.
Lottery money for revenue funding, Smith promises
Lottery grants will be switched from capital projects to revenue funding, culture secretary Chris Smith has promised. He went on to say that he wants Exchequer and Lottery grants to sit side by side and complement each other, which suggests that the government might be considering the abandonment of the principle of "additionality".
North East youth theatre proposed
The English Shakespeare Company, now based at the New Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, is to set up a youth theatre in the new year, a meeting of teachers was told by associate director Malachi Bogdanov last week. The project, which will cater for children from 5 to 18, will base its work on Shakespeare.