Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Seattle Opera Names Aidan Lang to Succeed Speight Jenkins

Breaking news: Seattle Opera has named Aidan Lang to succeed Speight Jenkins upon the latter's retirement next year.

Jenkins is a legend in the opera biz, after 30 years of leading the company, where he has successfully produced several Ring cycles and launched any number of important careers, as well as overseeing the complete renovation of the opera house. He announced a couple of years back that he would be retiring, and the company started the search for the next general director. (Planning is a good thing. Yes, I'm looking at you, Met Opera.)

Lang comes with a deep operatic background: he is a director who has worked at Glyndebourne and the Welsh National Opera; he was the artistic director of the Buxton Festival, and he is currently General Director of the New Zealand Opera. He directed the first Ring production at the tiny Teatro Amazonas in Manaus.

Seattle Opera will present some challenges; the company has had financial difficulties and has cut back on productions. Given the renaissance at the Seattle Symphony, perhaps Lang can spark a comeback at the Opera. Welcome!

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