Monday, March 17, 2008

New Music Director at Vilnius Opera and Ballet Theatre

(Bit of old news this, but no-one tells me anything). In February the talented Robertas Servenikas took on the position of music director of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre. The post had fallen vacant following the death of Jonas Aleksa a year or two ago (or even two and a half???). The opera house had looked all over the place for a new director - a Pole had been a strong candidate - but now we have found one on home turf. Could it be something to do with the salary that might be on offer, or, whisper it, with the quality of the orchestra?

Servenikas is a wonderful guy, vastly enthusiastic and a good sound pair of hands. He has been working in the opera house on and off since Aleksa died, and is increasingly extending his operatic repertoire. Should also be said that he is probably the most enterprising conductor Lithuania has in terms of contemporary music - if you have a new composition, he'll be the man to perform it for you.

Now his task is to rebuild the opera orchestra (I would suggest), and to move it from currently wobbly and depressed, via sound and reliable, to outstanding and inspiring. It won't be an easy or overnight task - and maybe there need to be personnel changes, but this should become his legacy at the opera house.

(Photo from LNOBT magazine 'Bravissimo')