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Yet another hassle around MusicalMakers: Fleischmann becomes director despite objection from Culture Council

LinkedIn is a fine alternative to the average networking party. Even if the white wine is missing, you automatically get notified when someone in your network has a great new job. This week, for instance, news arrived that Andreas Fleischmann, the highly respected director of Amsterdam's DeLaMar Theatre, has now officially become director-director of Stichting MusicalMakers, the foundation he set up last year, a day before the deadline for subsidy applications for four-year state funding.

About this MusicalMakers Foundation, there was some controversy afterwards. For instance, it became clear that the Council for Culture (but also the highest Council for Culture, namely billionaire patron Joop van den Ende) had been in the throes of M-Lab's musical plans. That club, after a successful start at the beginning of this century, had been encapsulated and then wrung its neck by Stage Entertainment, where Joop van den Ende, and later his heir apparent, Erwin van Lambaert, still held the sceptre, after which he also briefly became boss of M-Lab, to bury it. We then see Erwin van Lambaert again in the Council for Culture, which decided that there should be an alternative plan for M-Lab, and thus turned to Andreas Fleischmann. About the exact details of this you can here read.

Musical monopoly

The purpose of all this, according to some anonymous sources, is to preserve the musical monopoly in the Netherlands and a bit beyond for the Van den Ende family name. Founder Joop, due to retirement, once sold his company Stage Entertainment (after er Having extracted 300 million) and helped his daughter in the saddle with her company MediaLane, which produces musicals in addition to the maxer-than-max show Matthijs Draait Door. Stage Entertainment then went quite well under Joop's successor Albert Verlinde, and that must have stung, especially since those successes were experienced in the big theatres Joop had set up: Beatrix Theatre in Utrecht and DeLaMar in Amsterdam.

The atmosphere between Joop and Albert soured, and then came the ukase by the Council for Culture and Andreas Fleischmann, the director of Van den Ende's pride and joy, the DeLaMar, which forced Verlinde to watch with sorrow as all the development money, and thus all the goodwill and distribution opportunities for new musicals, ended up in the hands of a club where the VandenEnde Foundation and the DeLaMar had the upper hand. He gave up on Maarten in November. In his own words, because he might want to go into politics. No successor has yet been found for him.

Clear condition

And so now Andreas Fleischmann is ready to post on LinkedIn that he has become director-director of MusicalMakers. This is against the wishes of the Council for Culture. Which has since let us know the following, in response to our question about it: 'We had also noticed this. Institutions are required to report relevant interim changes to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In its advice, the council warned against conflicts of interest if MusicalMakers remains intertwined at board level with other institutions with which it intends to collaborate. The advice also clearly included a condition on this. MusicalMakers must be able to demonstrate in an amended plan to OCW by 1 June AS that it meets this condition.'

Reaction Andreas Fleischmann

Naturally, we asked Andreas Fleischmann (via LinkedIn) for a comment. That is now here:

'As an initiator, I have been active as a director/manager since the establishment of our new foundation. As our foundation will be operating within the new arts plan as of 1 January, my position will also be advertised via the new website musicalmakers.com communicated. My role as director/director cannot be a surprise to The Culture Council - it is not, as I have been confirmed - as I have been in regular contact with our account manager at OC&W in the run-up to 1 January and also recently.

OC&W and the Culture Council were further informed by us of the amendment to our articles of association, which we sent to the Council and the ministry shortly after the Culture Council's advice, namely on 22 June 2020. This amendment to the articles of association states that the founding musical makers will relinquish their spot as director/director no later than 31 December 2021. A new, independent director/director will then be appointed by the incumbent Supervisory Board.

And so it will happen and so it has been known to the ministry and the Culture Council for quite some time.' Hoping to have informed you sufficiently with this,

Sincerely,

Andreas Fleischmann

Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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