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National Opera Bucharest: Vlad Alexandrescu, minister of culture announces plans


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Vlad Alexandrescu,Romanian minister of culture has announced the agreed plans for the much needed "refundation" of Bucharest National Opera. The plans include Johan Kobborg, other persons and a team especially created and sent from the ministery to help to resolve the dramatic situations presents in the institution.

End of the story.

 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=523052851199293&id=468508013320444

 

Având în vedere evoluția situației de la Opera Națională București, care a scos la iveală o serie de dezechilibre grave și de disfuncționalități structurale, doresc să anunț cu fermitate că Ministerul Culturii va rămâne alături de Operă în perioada următoare ca partener privilegiat. Măsurile și analiza situației de la Opera Națională București vor servi și altor instituții de spectacol din țara noastră.

 

Am decis o soluție în două etape:

a. un interimat de 3 luni la Opera Națională București – sub conducerea dlui George Călin cu parteneriatul Ministerului Culturii, reintegrarea dlui Johan Kobborg și a dnei Alina Cojocaru în Opera Națională București, medierea cu ajutorul ministerului și începerea reformei în vederea celei de-a doua etape.

b. un nou manager de talie internațională pentru Opera Națională.

 

Decizia luată în urma negocierilor este una pragmatică. Este nevoie de o perioadă de tranziție care să poată pregăti Opera Națională pentru o funcționare deschisă. Vreau să ofer garanții Alinei Cojocaru și lui Johan Kobborg că munca lor poate să continue. De asemenea, lui Vlad Conta și lui Tiberiu Soare le mulțumesc pentru munca depusă și contez pe sprijinul lor în continuare. O echipă de la minister va acompania managementul Operei pentru următoarele 3 luni și va verifica toată situația contractelor și problemele de personal din instituție.

 

Ministerul își rezervă dreptul de a stabili cum anume se va angaja o nouă direcție generală pentru perioada de după cele trei luni de interimat. Ministerul va veni în sprijinul artiștilor de la Operă și va încerca să găsească soluții pentru deficiențele structurale și pentru lipsurile semnalate.

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GoogleTranslated version here: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ro&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2Fstory.php%3Fstory_fbid%3D523052851199293%26id%3D468508013320444&edit-text=

 

As ever, remember that Google Translate can be highly inaccurate, and sometimes even say the opposite of what the original says!

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It appears from posts on Facebook that tonight's ballet performance in Bucharest (of DSCH and The Dream) could not go ahead because the orchestra refused to play. The catalyst is said to be Mr Soare, who was sacked as part of the settlement described above. It is also said that members of the opera chorus joined the demonstration and that 5 ballet dancers spoke out against Johan Kobborg and against dancers who did not speak Romanian. The dancers who stood up and spoke are being congratulated by other people posting on Facebook.

 

This post comes with a bit of a 'health warning' as material has needed to be translated

Edited by capybara
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This overt and outrageous display of xenophobia by some members of ONB should not go unpunished. Don't they realise what it means to be in the EU? After all, a Romanian has been a star member of both of our national companies, and we love how she has enriched ballet in this country.

 

Come on those of you in ONB who have a problem with foreigners... even the Bolshoi and Maryinski have opened their doors and their hearts to non-Russian dancers, and if that's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.

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It's madness. I understood from the culture minister's announcement that Soare was asked to leave and that a new 'managing director' would be sought who embraced the direction of travel that JK was developing. So how come he is still apparently in post and able to lead a revolt?

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It also seems that some of the Romanian dancers who joined in the protest, were some that JKhas really helped and supported; one girl in particular has made public social media statements about what great opportunities JK has made happen for her, and JK and Alina even brought her to London for treatment for her injury.

 

This all seems to have echoes of the Bolshoi again for me. These ex-communist countries with opera/ballet companies essentially controlled by the government just seem stuck in the Cold War era.

Edited by tabitha
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Tabitha. I don't think that politicisation of arts institutions is only a problem in the former communist countries of eastern Europe. I seem to recall Tamara Rojo saying that she would not want to run a company in Spain giving as her reason the fact that a change of government was frequently followed by a change of directors of major companies. Here we are more used to directors being removed as a result of the Board to which they are answerable turning against them. Generally there is far less directorial turbulence here than in most of Europe.

 

We know very little about what happened at the ONB before JK took over. We know that JK seems to be an innovative director who has introduced a number of important works to Bucharest.Being innovative always upsets those who are attached to the past.I think that it is unusual to find any group of people working in an organisation who are completely happy with every decision made by their managers. There are always one or two people in an organisation with real or imagined grievances. There are always those who will try to take advantage of other people's grievances and use them to their own advantage. We will probably never get to the truth of the matter.

 

Today the news seems to suggest that there are those at ONB who are upset by current recruitment practices and the level of remuneration some of the dancers receive. The belief that you are being unfairly treated is something that can easily be exploited by those who have their own agendas. The whole thing seems to have been badly managed by the Minister who has been involved with making appointments. At bottom the whole thing may boil down to little more than the perennial struggle between resident opera and ballet companies for dominance in their theatre. I feel sorry for everyone from JK to the lowliest member of the ballet company who have found themselves caught up in this Kafkaesque scenario.

Edited by FLOSS
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 I seem to recall Tamara Rojo saying that she would not want to run a company in Spain giving as her reason the fact that a change of government was frequently followed by a change of directors of major companies.

 

I thought it was more along the lines of the funding potentially suddenly vanishing after a change in government?

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Alina has just retweeted something about her being banned, does anyone know.

 

Someone posted a photo of some notes (in Romanian) on FB saying that the note states that JK and Alina are banned from entering the opera house. A very sad and awful state of affairs if true.

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And yet again it is the ticket buying audiences that pay the ultimate price ... Their views sadly sadly are not consulted.

What a shame.  Just six short months ago all seemed so, so very promising.  

History ... is a mystery ... and I guess that too is what makes life fascinating ... and certainly feeds the hairline fractures of emotion that so many are drawn to through the universal language that is ballet.  

Edited by Bruce Wall
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Johan Kobborg might resign today  :rolleyes:

 

At the moment the one who resigned, a few moments ago, is culture minister Vlad Alexandrescu, under request of the prime minister.

Alexandrescu's collaborator who proposed Tiberiu Soare resigned a few days ago

 

http://m.adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/ministrul-culturii-vlad-alexandrescu-demisia-buzunar-dacian-ciolos-i-a-cerut-demisioneze-1_5720a4645ab6550cb86545d7/index.html

 

I'm sorry for you

Edited by annamicro
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I think that we need to remember that we only really have access to a limited amount of information about what is happening at the ONB. We have no real idea of its context as we know little or nothing of the history of the country and  its political and cultural institutions before and after the fall of communism. We don't know about Romania's political parties and factions. We have no idea whether, and to what extent, they may be playing a part in events as they unfold  at the  Bucharest opera house.

 

I don't think that I am in a position to determine whether what is happening in Bucharest is an outbreak of xenophobia, a genuine move against the "corrupt" practices of those who were previously in charge of the opera house and appointed Kobborg or an example of politicians in power settling old scores.I have no idea what the history of Romanian ballet was before Kobborg was appointed its AD or what sort of repertory it danced.

 

Remember it is possible that while Kobborg has given the company access to some very fine ballets that he has not paid enough respect to its history and repertory. I seem to recall that lack of knowledge, interest or respect for the Royal Ballet's repertory was one of the reasons why Stretton's ran into difficulties.The fact that Cojocaru is Romanian by birth does not necessarily make her  an expert on its culture or the culture of its institutions as she has spent much of her life studying and working abroad.

 

It is quite possible that Kobborg is the  unwitting victim of a bigger struggle taking place in Romania. It is equally possible that some of his difficulties have arisen because of a lack of knowledge and appreciation of the company's culture and history which others have been ready to exploit. Being a great dancer and being able to stage ballets does not make the individual concerned a great people manager.A little humility is always a good starting point when you want to alter things in an organisation of which you know little. Changing  a company's repertory and personnel when it has its own proud history by bringing in new repertory and increasing the number of foreign dancers is just the sort of thing that will rankle unless it is handled with consummate care. What appears to be a wonderful new repertory to us, in the form of ballets by Ashton, MacMillan and Ratmansky, may appear, or made to appear, as a somewhat insulting rejection of the company's traditions, repertory and history to its recipients.

 

I don't think that the events in Bucharest will have any lasting impact on the reputations or careers of either Kobborg and Cojocaru . I think that it must be making the lives of the junior dancers pretty miserable.

 

Edited by FLOSS
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At the moment the one who resigned, a few moments ago, is culture minister Vlad Alexandrescu, under request of the prime minister.

Alexandrescu's collaborator who proposed Tiberiu Soare resigned a few days ago

 

http://m.adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/ministrul-culturii-vlad-alexandrescu-demisia-buzunar-dacian-ciolos-i-a-cerut-demisioneze-1_5720a4645ab6550cb86545d7/index.html

 

I'm sorry for you

Kaus Iohannis (Romanian President) opinion about Alexandrescu dimissions http://m.digi24.ro/Stiri/Digi24/Actualitate/Politica/K%20Iohannis%20Au%20ramas%20putine%20greseli%20imaginabile%20care%20n-au%20fost%20fa

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