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 Post subject: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2001 1:14 am 
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The new Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House has got off to a good start. His first decision to appoint the bright and imaginative Deborah Bull to Artistic Director, managing the 2 smaller spaces, has to be good news.

He seems to be getting off on the right foot with many of the staff and is keen to curb the elitism that is still prevalent at the Royal Opera house - a very different atmosphere from the egalitarianism of Paris Opera Ballet.

Here are a couple of interviews with him as the new ROH season is announced:

click for more

Former BBC head of news Tony Hall, the new man in the top job, outlines his plans to Norman Lebrecht:

This link is now broken.
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'I will find a way of opening this place up'

His predecessors crumbled under the pressure, but Tony Hall, new head of Covent Garden, thinks he can solve the House's problems. He talks to Guardian arts editor Dan Glaister

Interview with Glaister

<small>[ 05 February 2003, 05:33 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2001 8:22 am 
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<B>Deborah Bull: Leaping into the heights</B><P>Deborah Bull, through her Travels With My Tutu on prime time television, has helped to bring dance to a mass audience.<P>by David Lister for The independent<P><A HREF="http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=77020" TARGET=_blank><B>David Lister's interview</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2001 11:56 pm 
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<img src="http://news.ft.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTBlobServer?blobtable=Image&blobcol=urlpicture&blobkey=id&blobwhere=FT3Z9RGJOOC&blobheader=image/gif" alt="" />

The man who saved London's Royal Opera House

Alison Maitland in The Times 'interviews' Sir Colin Southgate the Chairman of the ROH - hard hitting investigatory journalism it ain't.


Quote:
"I regret saying anything [about opera-goers in singlets and trainers]. I got pushed for a comment. It was a stupid remark to make. I've got nothing against the way people dress, casually or not.I came here the other night minus a tie. But I'm a bit old-fashioned. I think going to the theatre is a rather special night out and you attire yourself appropriately. That doesn't mean you have to wear a jacket and trousers.
more...

Not really an interview, more an opportunity for Southgate to say what he wants without being quizzed and without any context for the points he makes. For instance, his record at retaining high quality senior staff such as Genista McIntosh and Michael Kaiser is appalling.

While he is right that the level of funding at the ROH is much less than that seen in Continental Europe, he ignores the fact that the Arts Council has increased the difference in subidy between the Royal Ballet and both Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet.

In my view the next big step in dance spending in this country has to be on the Contemporary dance scene where some of the finest dancers in this or any other country endure appalling work conditions and gross financial insecurity. These issues are addressed in the book '21st Century Dance'

And here is a reaction to Southgate's pronouncements from Norman Lebrecht:

Sweating it out in the House


'Norman Lebrecht in The Daily Telegraph calls for some elitism at Convent Garden.'

Well it's always good to start the day with a laugh. I wonder if Lebrecht ever goes to Sadler's Wells; he would certainly see a marked difference in atmosphere if he did. He also seems to think that it is the ROH management who buy the flowers presented to the dancers when in fact it's the fans. I know 'cos I'm one who does.

Quote:
SIR COLIN SOUTHGATE has been telling the Financial Times how he "saved" the Royal Opera House, pretty much single-handedly. This was, remarkably, his first press interview since being appointed to the chairmanship by Downing Street three-and-a-half years ago, and it was the softest of touches - like Tony Blair kicking off his election campaign from Sir David Frost's sofa.

The FT likes businessmen to have a life outside business and does not pry into their extra-mural pursuits. Southgate was allowed to recite his own press releases, telling readers how he was "opening the place up". No one, it appears, ever tells him it's elitist any more.
more....

[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 11, 2001).]

<small>[ 05 February 2003, 05:31 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2001 10:58 pm 
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On a lighter note - is it top secret who you send flowers to, Stuart? And why is the less senior dancers never get flowers - is it not the done thing to send flowers to a ballerina of the corps?


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2001 12:00 am 
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I'm afraid the recipients must remain a secret, but none were Principals. The protocol is that other dancers can only receive their flowers on stage if the lead, be it a Principal or someone else, has also received some. Otherwise they are placed in the dressing rooms. <P>There is a stall round the corner in Covent Garden where for about £12-15, you can select flowers for a bouquet with a card and they will deliver it to the stage door. Even an old cynic like me gets a buzz from the experience. Recommended.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited July 15, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2001 3:01 am 
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<B>They had London at their feet, so why did they walk away?</B> <P>Vanessa Thorpe in The Observer asks why three foreign bosses of our leading arts centres have all felt the need to jump ship <P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Senior positions at the Royal Opera House, the South Bank Centre and Tate Modern had all gone to imported talent and the city was proud to welcome such sophisticated visitors. <P>Surely these high-profile international appointments were exactly the kind of acknowledgment London needed as the new centre of the arts world - the capital of Tony Blair's creative Britain? <P>But now, within two and a half years, all three appointees have unexpectedly rejected their London roles. What went wrong?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,539173,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A><P>A useful cross-art form overview, but no new revelations, except that Tony Hall may already be having difficulties with Southgate. <P>In general, the problems seem to linked to personalities, but perhaps the relationships between the Boards and the Directors need to be re-examined.


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2001 9:18 am 
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<B>Quiz Royal Opera House boss</B><BR> Image <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In April, Tony Hall took up his post as executive director of the Royal Opera House, an institution which has been stung with political and press criticism for years.<P>Mr Hall will be answering your questions in a live forum, hosted by BBC arts and media correspondent Nick Higham, on 10 September at 1400 BST. If you have a question e-mail us now.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Thanks to Brendan on ballet.co for finding this.<P><A HREF="http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking_point/forum/newsid_1525000/1525288.stm" TARGET=_blank><B>Tony Hall in The BBC Forum</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2001 2:57 am 
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<B>The dirtiest job in the arts</B><P>So can a BBC journalist put the Opera House in order where the cultural elite has failed? Bryan Appleyard in The Sunday Times hopes so as he interviews Tony Hall.<P><BR>But real, long-term stability for the ROH is not a matter or money, nor even of art, it is a matter of class. At the heart of all its problems lies an old British class mistrust of the idea of art forms this expensive and this laden with tradition and craft. Only 2,200 people can see a performance at the ROH - somehow we have to learn to accept that this costs the taxpayer £21m a year. <P>Hall is in no doubt. "I really do believe that the elitist thing is dead, that you can't come here unless you have fur coats or a smart car. People forget that more than 60% of our audience is the general public, not from our membership schemes. People think it's a club, but it's not." <P><A HREF="http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/09/23/sticulopa02002.html?" TARGET=_blank><B>more...</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2002 12:48 am 
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<B>Cashing in at Covent Garden</B><BR>Andrew Clements writes in The Guardian<P><BR>Suddenly everyone wants to be nice about Covent Garden. The end-of-year opera round-ups from my colleagues on other newspapers purred with pleasure over what they had seen at the Royal Opera House during 2001, while looking forward with relish to what was promised in the coming months. <BR>But what are the reasons for this epidemic of enthusiasm? There were certainly some good moments in the Royal Opera's year - both the Parsifal and the Jenufa were widely admired, musically at least - but only one production, the Boulevard Solitude mounted for Henze's 75th birthday last March, was as accomplished dramatically as it was musically. <P><A HREF="http://www.guardian.co.uk/saturday_review/story/0,3605,631335,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2002 12:58 am 
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<B>Opera boss plans screens on greens</B><BR>From the BBC website<P><BR>The Royal Opera House is attempting to widen its appeal by showing its performances on a series of large screens erected across Britain. The opera house will trial the use of screens in May at Victoria Park, in Hackney, east London, with a relayed performance of the Royal Ballet's Romeo and Juliet. <BR> <BR>If the screening proves a success, the venture will be repeated outside London. The initiative is the idea of new executive director Tony Hall, who left the BBC last year to join the opera house. <P><A HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/arts/newsid_1817000/1817923.stm" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2002 1:27 am 
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<B>Why it's trainers, not tiaras, for a night out at the opera.</B><BR>By Vanessa Thorpe, arts correspondent, The Observer<P><BR>For generations, the popular image of the average Covent Garden operagoer has remained the same: grey-haired and doddery, the men wearing formal evening dress, the women draped in the family jewels. <BR>But the Royal Opera House has discovered that its audience is much more in tune with the twenty-first century than expected. <P>The modern opera or ballet fan is much less well-off and younger than Royal Opera House officials had believed, according to new research. <P>Ticket-holders are now just as likely to arrive dressed in ordinary high-street fashions as designer labels. And, after the performance, a large proportion of them will return to a student flat or a modest starter home.<P><A HREF="http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,651649,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>click for more</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:34 am 
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The Royal Opera House has appointed a woman as Chairman for the first time and by golly! she talks about ballet in the appointment interview below:

<img src="http://is.lse.ac.uk/Leo/images/JudithMayhew.jpg" alt="" />
<small>Judith Mayhew from a short CV/resume for a conference in London</small>

Royal Opera picks dame
By Maev Kennedy for The Guardian

Barrister Judith Mayhew was yesterday announced as chairwoman at Covent Garden, unanimously appointed by the governors as the first ever woman to head the Royal Opera House board.
Her proven track record in education and community arts projects, and in using her City contacts for fundraising, were factors impressing the board.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," she said. "When a little girl learning ballet in New Zealand, I used to dream of dancing on the stage of Covent Garden. I have to say it didn't occur to me to dream of being chair of the board."

She succeeds Sir Colin Southgate, who five years ago pronounced that "I don't want to sit next to somebody in a singlet, a pair of shorts, and a smelly pair of trainers" - a jibe at the government's access to arts policy and Covent Garden's desperation not to be seen as the home of music to rattle your diamonds to.

click for more

*****************************************

First female boss for Opera House
The Royal Opera House is trying to widen its audience. From the BBC website.

The Royal Opera House has announced the appointment of its first female chairman.
Dame Judith Mayhew, who was elected on Tuesday, will join the board of directors on 1 March and take over the chairmanship from Sir Colin Southgate at the end of the current season in August.

Born and educated in New Zealand, Dame Judith is a barrister and solicitor and currently works as a special adviser to London mayor Ken Livingstone.

"I have had a fantastic career in both the public and private sector and I am now looking forward to focusing my energies in a new direction with one of my favourite cultural institutions," said Dame Judith.

click for more

****************************************

Judith Mayhew
Interview from 2001 in "Just People" with the new Chair of the ROH

For those travelling halfway round the world to find fame and fortune in the City of London, Judith Mayhew is something of a patron saint. Having upped and left her provincial New Zealand home at 22, with nothing more than a suitcase, a box of books and a box of records, she proved that the streets of the City really are paved with gold; and while she is not (as yet) Mayor of London, she is his trusty sidekick and unofficial chief executive of the City of London.

Having grown up in Dunedin, a small University town, Mayhew is now overseeing the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and a square mile of land producing approx £30bn a year. As Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee for the Corporation of London, the 52 year-old represents the financial industry's interests to both the UK and the European governments, as well as working to develop economic development and regeneration in the surrounding boroughs. The social aspect is as important to her as the complex world of financial regulation; 'You've got the richest district in the world surrounded by some of the poorest districts in the UK, and that's unacceptable,' says Mayhew.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 5:06 am 
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In a first, the Royal Opera House names a woman to its top position
The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- The Royal Opera House has appointed a woman to its top post for the first time, announcing Tuesday that Dame Judith Mayhew will succeed Sir Colin Southgate when he retires as chairman in August.

New Zealand-born Mayhew, currently chairwoman of the University of London's Birkbeck College, will join the Opera House board next month.

"I have had a fantastic career in both the public and private sector, and I am now looking forward to focusing my energies in a new direction with one of my favorite cultural institutions," Mayhew said.

"The Royal Opera House has had a remarkable history and at present is enjoying an astonishing renaissance."

click for more

<small>[ 05 February 2003, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2003 10:17 am 
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Here is the full text of the ROH Press Release

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE APPOINTS NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dame Judith Mayhew was elected today as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Opera House. She will join the Board on March 1st and take over the Chairmanship from Sir Colin Southgate at the end of the current season in August 2003. She is the first woman to hold this position.

Born and educated in New Zealand, Dame Judith is a barrister and solicitor. From 1996 until the end of last year she was Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the Corporation of London. Currently she is Special Adviser at Clifford Chance, Solicitors, City and Business Adviser to the Mayor of London, and Deputy Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Corporation of London.

During her early career she taught law in New Zealand and at Southampton University. She became Sub Dean and Director of the Anglo French Law Degree at the Sorbonne, and at King's College, University of London. Prior to becoming Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee of the Corporation of London, Dame Judith was Chairman of the Education Committee, Corporation of London and a Member of the City of London Police Authority. She is at present Chairman of Birkbeck College, University of London, Director of London Development Agency, International Financial Services London, Gresham College, 4Ps, Cross River Partnership and The Natural History Museum.

On her appointment Dame Judith said:

“I have had a fantastic career in both the public and private sector, and I am now looking forward to focussing my energies in a new direction with one of my favourite cultural institutions. The Royal Opera House has had a remarkable history and at present is enjoying an astonishing renaissance. I am delighted to be able to be joining the organisation at such an exciting time. In particular, I am interested in the expanding role of the newest department, ROH2 and the continuing work done by the Education and Access department in attracting more diverse audiences to the Royal Opera House. I believe that their work should be a complement to the established world class excellence of the work of The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.”

Sir Colin Southgate, added:

“ The Board completed an exhaustive selection process which culminated in a short list of candidates who were interviewed by a selection committee from the Board. Their recommendations were brought to the full Board and the decision was made yesterday evening to appoint Dame Judith Mayhew as my successor. She is an excellent choice and I wish her well. I am sure she will do a fantastic job. With her wealth of managerial experience in the fields of academia, commerce, law and local government she is ideally placed to take on this challenging and rewarding role.”

Gerry Robinson, Chairman of the Arts Council of England, said:

"Judith Mayhew will make an exceptional Chairman of the Royal Opera House. Her broad range of experience, coupled with her love of opera and ballet, means she is well-placed to take the organisation into the next chapter of its development.

"I would like to pay tribute to the outgoing Chairman, Sir Colin Southgate. The confidence of the Royal Opera House and the way it is engaging with new audiences and new work owes much to his leadership."

Baroness Tessa Blackstone, Minister for the Arts, said:

" The Opera House is one of our greatest cultural assets, and it deserves the very best leadership. I am delighted that the Board have chosen Judith Mayhew to take forward the House's work, and build on its world wide reputation. Judith has all the qualities to make a superb Chair, and I look forward to working with her".

Ends

Notes

Sir Colin Southgate has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Royal Opera House since 15 January 1998.

The term of office is for a period of five years

BIOGRAPHY of Dame Judith Mayhew

Dame Judith was born in 1948 in New Zealand and was educated at the Girls High School Otago and then the University of Otago where she read Law.

From 1970 - 1973 she was a Lecturer in Law, University of Otage, and from 1973 - 1976 Lecturer in Law, Sub Dean, University of Southampton. 1976 - 1989 she was Lecturer in Law, Sub Dean, King’s College, University of London, and Director of Anglo French Law Degree, Sorbonne. Until 1994 she was Director of Training, and Employment Lawyer, Titmuss Sainer Dechert, and until 2000 Director of Education and Training, and Employment Lawyer, Wilde Sapte. In 2000 she became Special Adviser to the legal firm Clifford Chance.

In 1986 she became a Member, Court of Common Council, City of London, Finance, Education, Housing, Social services and Police Committees, in 1989-1994 she was Chairman, Education Committee; 1993-1996 Deputy Chairman, Policy and Resources Committee; 1995 Association of London Government (Leaders’ and Education Committees); 1996 Chairman, Policy and Resources Committee (political Leader of the City of London); City and Business Adviser to the Mayor of London; 2002 Chairman, Business Committee, London Development Agency and Chairman, Private Investment Commission, London Development Agency.

Her public appointments include a Board Member of London Development Agency, International Financial Services London Gresham College and 4ps. She is also Chairman of Governors of Birkbeck College, University of London and a Trustee of The Natural History Museum and the University of Otago Trust

<small>[ 05 February 2003, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Royal Opera House News
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2003 6:12 am 
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First lady of Royal Opera will woo young
By Jack Malvern for The Times


DAME JUDITH MAYHEW, who was appointed chairman of the Royal Opera House yesterday, promised to open up Covent Garden to younger and poorer audiences.
Dame Judith, the first woman in the role, said that the Royal Opera House would concentrate less on its main auditorium, and direct funds to new work and touring performances. She will press the Government and private sponsors to subsidise seats.

Dame Judith, a former committee chairman of the Corporation of London, said: “If we had £2 million more, up to 70 per cent of seats could be priced at £50 or less.”

She gave warning that Covent Garden faced a difficult future, with a “funding gap” looming as government subsidy declined and corporate donors became wary of recession. She added that she also intended to encourage more international collaboration, as she did last year by bringing the Mostly Mozart season to London from New York.

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