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National Opera & Ballet seeks (almost) free help for general director

The National Opera & Ballet is among the showpieces of Dutch cultural policy. And rightly so. Like the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Rijksmuseum, the opera and dance company is among the absolute world's best. That comes with a price tag. A hefty price tag. In the case of The National Opera: €24,420,000, in the case of The National Ballet: €6,950,000. Soon there will be a vacancy for the director of opera, now there is already the vacancy "trainee General Director", for three days a week, with an allowance of € 189. Per month. Gross. With 'an interesting place card scheme' as a bonus. Be available for a minimum of three months, though.

Lobby agenda

Of course, you wouldn't expect a world-class company to be content with someone pouring coffee, taking notes and making copies. But you can also go overboard. After all, the ideal candidate is:

'an intern who supports in shaping and implementing dossiers in the field of politics, culture and media. You can think of doing research and preparing files in terms of content, maintaining an annual lobby agenda, maintaining and updating external contacts and relations and general support to the General Director and the executive secretariat.'

So a more than serious job. But not wanting to pay for it. And this the day after outgoing chairman of the Council for Culture Joop Daalmeijer advocated freeing up 15 million for self-employed workers in the cultural sector. After many had already sounded the alarm earlier because more and more paid jobs had to be filled by volunteers and interns. After almost all companies had indicated in recent years that they were having to draw on their own funds and were overcharging their employees.

Race to the bottom

Those cuts of Rutte I and Rutte II probably won't undo anyone. But it would make the biggest and by far most lavishly subsidised house in the Netherlands, which not had to surrender, sire not to go along with - and want to take advantage of - those race to the bottom.

Henri Drost

Henri Drost (1970) studied Dutch and American Studies in Utrecht. Sold CDs and books for years, then became a communications consultant. Writes for among others GPD magazines, Metro, LOS!, De Roskam, 8weekly, Mania, hetiskoers and Cultureel Persbureau/De Dodo about everything, but if possible about music (theatre) and sports. Other specialisms: figures, the United States and healthcare. Listens to Waits and Webern, Wagner and Dylan and pretty much everything in between.View Author posts

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