A MANAGEMENT crisis at the Slovak National Theatre (SND) culminated on August 27 when several important members of senior management resigned. Štefan Bučko, Artistic Director of SND Drama, Pavol Smolík, Artistic Director of SND Opera, Rastislav Štúr, Chief Conductor, and Slavomír Jakubek, the theatre’s dramatic advisor all resigned, according to the Culture Ministry spokesman, Jozef Bednár. In response, the SND Director General Silvia Hroncová resigned.
Hroncová explained her resignation by saying the SND is conservative and resistant to any innovations and comparisons with similar European theatres. Hroncová managed the challenging task of moving the entire theatre into a new building in the summer of 2006.
She said her goals included taking on young members into artistic ensembles, forming well-known production teams, making active and productive contacts with foreign theatres, attracting new groups of theatre patrons and effectively handling SND funds and property. Conservative thinking among her colleagues was the basis of the dispute between her and other members of SND’s senior management, Hroncová said.
Smolík, on the other hand, claimed that the director general interfered in the competencies of the opera department, failed to meet financial obligations and had trouble setting priorities. He admitted that the director general’s work had positive aspects but said the negatives in her management style and communication were stronger.
After meeting with Culture Minister Marek Maďarič on August 27, Smolík and Bučko returned to their positions.
At a joint press conference on September 3, Mário Radačovský from the SND Ballet section refused to comment about Hroncová and her role in this management controversy. Potential candidates for the post of director general have not yet been named. Smolík was authorised to provisionally lead the SND until a successor is hired.