REWIND: From The Aus­tralian, Septem­ber 15, 2007

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Lifelines -

THE Sydney Opera House has opted for a per­form­ing arts pro­fes­sional, the Aus­tralian Bal­let’s Richard Evans, to lead its en­tre­pre­neur­ial drive and re­fur­bish­ment plans.

Mr Evans’s ap­point­ment as chief ex­ec­u­tive was an­nounced by the NSW gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day af­ter spec­u­la­tion over who would re­place Nor­man Gillespie, who de­parted last month.

Sydney Dance Com­pany and Bell Shake­speare, two com­pa­nies that present sea­sons at the Opera House, wel­comed Mr Evans’s ap­point­ment. Kim Wil­liams, chair of the Sydney Opera House Trust, said the trust was pleased to ap­point a per­form­ing arts pro­fes­sional from Aus­tralia.

Mr Evans has worked with the State The­atre Com­pany of South Aus­tralia, Bell Shake­speare and the Aus­tralian Bal­let. ‘‘ It was get­ting to the point of my ca­reer where I wanted to make a broader con­tri­bu­tion,’’ he said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ With the chal­lenges the Opera House faces, there’s an enor­mous amount that needs to hap­pen. I saw that the per­son that needed to be in the role was some­one who had a good re­la­tion­ship with the (arts) com­pa­nies, and who had an un­der­stand­ing of how the com­pa­nies op­er­ate, in the theatres.’’

In re­cent years, the Opera House has in­creased its role as a pro­ducer rather than sim­ply be a venue for hire. There are plans to re­build the Opera The­atre in a project that would re­quire mul­ti­ple fund­ing part­ners.

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