Well received performances and more visitors than ever before: things are going very well for Opera Vlaanderen and while it is a feat that everybody contributed to, the influence of its artistic director cannot be understated. But Swiss-born Aviel Cahn – who mastered the Dutch language so well, his accent is impeccable – calls it ‘a time for change’, after being part of the opera for ten years by the end of his tenure. “Positions such as these should have a limited life-cycle where five years are needed to build and another five for reaping what has been sown. Working as an artistic director means having inspiration that flows between the audience and the opera and it’s good for that type of energy to have some renewal.”