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Maskats: Hard to imagine LNO without Zagars

Andrejs Zagars/LETA.
RIGA, Aug 31 - The work done by the previous Latvian National Opera head Andrejs Zagars and his achievements are immense, therefore it may be not quite right that he is not a member of the opera's new management team, believes the new LNO head Arturs Maskats who previously worked as Zagars' advisor on musical matters.

"I believe that Zagars' achievements are enormous, and I cannot help thinking that it may be not quite right that Zagars is not on the opera's board. I cannot imagine the LNO if it has to continue operations without Zagars, considering everything he has done for the opera," the new LNO head commented to LETA.

Maskats said he was planning to meet with Zagars to discuss his further work at the LNO as soon as Zagars returns to Latvia.

Maskats also said he was surprised to see who else was elected to the opera's new board - one of the new board members he does not know at all, and he knows the other board member just a little. Maskats told LETA that his greatest challenge as the LNO director would be to combine his creative work with working on the LNO board. He declined to comment on the new LNO board's makeup and how well it could perform. "I still have to take in what has happened and how it all could work out in the future," said Maskats.

Asked to indicate what the main arguments could have been for the decision to appoint him as the new LNO director, Maskats mentions that he has been in the business for many years and knows very well how everything works.

Maskats' application said that his work would be aimed at the development of the opera, fostering versatility of genres, bringing up young artists in Latvia, and making the LNO have more intriguing and appealing repertoire.

Maskats told LETA, all of this was also part of the previous LNO management's work, therefore no radical changes were to be expected. He also said that the objectives listed in his application for the post of LNO director were probably much the same in the other candidates' applications.

As reported, Composer Maskats, heretofore advisor to National Opera (LNO) Managing Director Andrejs Zagars on musical matters, has been selected by a special commission to replace Zagars as LNO chairman of the board.

The office of managing director has been scratched all together, and LNO from now on will be commandeered by a three-person board: Maskats, Inese Eglite and Daina Markova.
Zagars, head of LNO since the 1990s, has been offered the position of adviser, as the Ministry of Culture wants to ensure a successful completion of projects at LNO in wake of two key events upcoming - Riga as Europe's culture capital (2014) and Latvia's EU presidency (2015).

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