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Wonderful analysis Helene.

If Lang is as solid as he seems to be, it will be exciting to experience the changes in tone, programming, style, rep, and all the other dimensions of opera that ultimately have their roots in the personal taste of the Director. It's going to be weird not having Speight there -- kind of like San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. What I will miss most is his quirky but informative post performance Q&A sessions. He is humorous, knowledgable, forthright, insighful and a bit contankerous in thoise sessions. For me, in those sessions, he was a window into the inner workings of an opera company -- a window I could rely on since Speight wouldn't know how to "spin" something if he wanted to (at least IMHO).

P.S. The link you provided for the NZ business article didn't work for me, but I did find it here:


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One of the benefits of staying in the same place for a long time is being around for transitions like this. I remember when Jenkins was the new kid in town, and people weren't sure if he'd be a good fit after Glynn Ross...

Helene is right, the closest thing the SO has to a traditional ballet company environment are the Ring summers, where people show up far in advance of opening night to put together the whole cycle. Looking at it from the dance side, can you imagine running a ballet company like an opera company? The closest I can think of is something like Morphoses, where they change out artistic leadership every year, and commit to an entirely new set of projects.

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