Bringing down the house

Sadlers_wells.jpgThe Royal Opera and ENO have ceased to be the only centres of operatic power in Britain, writes Nicholas Payne. And he should know – he’s run both companies[Independent, 13 November 2006]
Sadler’s Wells, where Lilian Baylis founded her native opera company in 1931, is today better known as London’s dance house. The rebuilt theatre has, since Alistair Spalding assumed its leadership two years ago, become the place where the most innovative dance happens. Both artists and audiences have sensed that, and have been drawn to fill its programme and its seats. There is not so much room left for opera.