<< -- 3 -- Roderic Dunnett A MOMENT OF MADNESS
There Rosenberg also developed a reputation for both locating new talent
and founding an array of education and training programs -- many of which
are now being considered by the European Union for integration into the
education departments of EU countries.
'Seeing this happen at the Coliseum,' she continues, 'I must admit scares
me : I don't know the make up of ENO's board, but if they come from
outside the art form, then whatever the determining parameters are of
the art form, you can bet they won't have the right instincts for it.
That's why they need a Nicholas Payne to guide them.'
'Any board that reacts thus when there's a safe pair of hands already
in place suggests a clear case of ill-judged short-termism : a misguided
knee-jerk reaction. It's mad to let someone of such competence go.
Nicholas has a real instinct for the metier, he's gone through the best
schooling imaginable for running that company; by any standards he is the
ideal person to head ENO.
Nicholas Payne. Photo: Laurie Lewis
Summing up, the ENO board's latest flawed decision leaves her deeply
unimpressed. 'They are very, very short sighted. I think they perhaps had
some experience in the past with his predecessor [Dennis Marks] not coming
from the Opera metier. But look at what Payne's achieved : I thought Pelleas
and Melisande one of the best things I've seen anywhere in the
last six or seven years.'
For her, Payne's achievement is quite simply outstanding : 'He's done
astonishing things on an artistic level -- the quality of both the singers
and the orchestra : he's built a really strong ensemble there. To dismantle
it would be criminal. He's got good ears, good judgment, really knows
how to manage a company -- giving solid management on a tight budget; at
a time when the subvention from the Arts Council hasn't been generous
or even adequate, the kind of work they manage to do on a limited budget
'To have something that's working very well indeed, and suddenly
to blow it apart, is just downright daft.'
Copyright © 29 July 2002
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK
RODERIC DUNNETT ON THE RESIGNATION OF NICHOLAS PAYNE
ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA
SAN FRANCISCO OPERA