New chief of Lithuania’s opera not to rush with management changes

Jonas Sakalauskas
R. Andre nuotr.

Sakalauskas, 35-year-old soloist and composer who currently heads the Klaipėda State Musical Theater, told BNS his vision is that a manager should replace the theater’s artistic director.

“I don’t really believe that there can be one person who would be responsible and capable of taking decisions for ballet, opera and operetta. Theater is not just a decision of arts, it is a marketing and sometimes a political decision. I said in my application that the artistic director should be replaced by a deputy for arts who would administer artists. The art administration side is, in my view, much bigger than ideas only – I believe there are enough conductors, choreographers and directors inside the theater and outside who have ideas, they simply need to be allowed to do the creative work. I believe a good administrator in arts will provide more opportunities for art to emerge than an artist who may not necessarily be a good manager,” said Sakalauskas who won the competition for the post on Monday.

While heading the Klaipėda Musical Theater since early 2016, the soloist said he avoided conflict of interests and did not perform in the theater, pledging to stick to the principle in the future. Sakalauskas said he may not match the image of the theater’s director and concert activities in El Fuego popular music band.

In light of the problems his predecessor Gintautas Kevisas faced in connection to private and public interests, Sakalauskas pledged full transparency at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater, even if a decision is taken to cooperate with the institutions he had established in the past – modern opera festival organizer Operomanija and the Baltic Chamber Opera Theater.

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