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Holland Festival must look for new director: Mackenzie to Paris in 2019

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It's quite unfortunate. Ruth Mackenzie is moving into even higher realms. She has made the past two editions of the Holland Festival considerably more refreshed and modern, and so it stands out. Paris beckons. Ruth Mackenzie has been nominated by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, as Directrice Artistique (artistic director) of Théâtre du Châtelet, effective 2019. This means Ruth Mackenzie will leave the festival after the June 2018 Holland Festival.

Ruth Mackenzie is thus fully serving out her part-time five-year contract with the Holland Festival. She is still putting together the 2017 and 2018 festival editions with the artistic team.


Martijn Sanders, chairman of the Supervisory Board on Ruth Mackenzie's appointment at Théâtre du Châtelet: "The Supervisory Board regrets Ruth Mackenzie's departure. We fully understand her acceptance of a full-time job at one of Paris' leading theatres. She has now put together two fine Holland Festival editions and we are confident that she will do the same for 2017 and 2018."

Ruth Mackenzie is obviously delighted with the move: 'Chatelet offers me the chance to invent things and explore new forms of lyricism. The theatre has the same tradition of innovation as the Holland Festival. That gives me the chance to make performances on a large scale, and with international artists.' Also important in her consideration appears to be that at the Holland Festival she can only flame out for one month a year: 'I can now work all year round on finding new audiences and forging new partnerships. I can work there with new communities in Paris and a new, international audience.'


Mackenzie is the second recent Holland Festival leader to leave for France, following Pierre Audi, who will become director of the Opera Festival in Aix-en-Provence in September 2018. So 2019 will see two vital spots at the top of Dutch cultural life vacant.

The 70th edition of the Holland Festival will take place from 3 to 25 June 2017.

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