When I taught courses in policy analysis and public administration, one of my favourite show-stoppers was presenting the (now departing) director of the Danish Royal Theatre, Michael Christiansen. The joke was that Christiansen was recruited to this post from a position as permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defense (!)
Today, the board of the Royal Theatre announced Christiansen’s successor, Erik Jacobsen. And, yes, he too is recruited from a ministry. This time the Ministry of the Environment.
As I recall, Christiansen was originally met with some reservation from the staff of the theatre, even though he wasn’t the first career civil servant to lead the theatre, but managed to settle in the organisation. He even went native and married one of the actresses. On the other hand, Christiansen never interfered – at least not visibly – in artistic decisions at the operative level during his tenure.
This time round, the artistic staff had less reservations about a professional director. In fact both the chairman of the theatre’s board and the leader of the opera are quoted as saying that getting a person with intimate knowledge of the political and administrative system was of prime importance.