Outgoing Artistic Director of Belvoir Theatre, Ralph Myers will deliver a controversial and provocative keynote speech this Sunday at the annual Phillip Parsons Lecture that claims that “cookie cutter” programming, imported productions and artists, and “men in suits” are eroding the fabric of Australian arts.

Myers’ speech, titled The Artistic Director: on the way to extinction?leaves very few of Australia’s major arts organisations unscathed as he outlines what he feels are major issues at the directorial level of our theatres, orchestras and culture festivals.

One of Myers’ more drastic suggestions, aimed at Australia’s classical music sector, is that the Australian government should “cancel the visas of all of the fly-in-fly-out conductors of our orchestras for five years and see what happens.” This scenario would see the deportation of every principal conductor of Australia’s main symphony orchestras: Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s David Robertson who is American, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Andrew Davis from Great Britain, Queensland Symphony Orchestra’s former Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch from Germany, Israeli conductor Asher Fisch who leads the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Arvo Volmer from Estonia.

Myers claims that a worrying number of organisations are led by “managers”, rather than artists, whose...