The dispute over the leadership of the Seefestspiele and the disempowerment in Mörbisch – as we already reported at the beginning of July, goes into the next round: After the still incumbent artistic director Peter Edelmann and the general director Alfons Haider, appointed at the end of 2020, at the opening on 8. July had delivered a battle of words, Edelmann is now in the current “press” interview – among other things in the direction of the Burgenland Governor Hans-Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), who is also responsible for the cultural agenda.
“The procedure with regard to Mörbisch shows enough how capable one is to determine the cultural agenda,” says Edelmann. The concrete conflict revolves around the fact that Edelmann wanted to bring Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” to the lake stage in 2022, while Haider wanted the musical “The King and I” as a new production at this year’s premiere of “West Side Story” for next year had advised. “It’s my competence to determine the piece. And I had the owner said yes to ‘The Merry Widow’ and already invested a lot of work for it”, emphasizes Edelmann. In any case, the contracts for “The Merry Widow” have already been signed next year, whereby he has an assumption as to who will have to bear any downtime costs: “I assume that this will be paid for with public money, ie by the taxpayer.”
No early termination of the contract
In any case, premature termination of the contract is out of the question for him: “It is only very important for me to fulfill my contract by August 2022.” And his contract clearly states that he is not subordinate to the general manager and does not have to answer questions from him. But, so Edelmann resignedly: “He has the politics behind him, and all PR measures are tailored to him. What else should we talk about …” His conclusion is clear: “The brand ‘Operetta Mörbisch’ is dead. “
However, the Kultur-Betriebe Burgenland GmbH (KBB) referred in a broadcast on Tuesday afternoon to the great success of this year’s production. It was also said that the tender and appointment of the new general manager had been correct and fair. The contractual framework conditions are clearly defined and adhered to as agreed: “All other allegations in this context are false and will be resolutely rejected.” It is understandable that the appointment of the general manager “led to a personal injury”, which is regretted. However, this discussion is “to be carried on exclusively internally”.
Furthermore, the KBB said that they were pleased that Haider had already started the realignment of the Seefestspiele. He will inspire new audiences without offending Mörbisch’s regular audience. The success of the “West Side Story” shows that the way to perform more musicals is the right one. For this reason the decision was made to present “The King and I” in 2022.
The ÖVP Burgenland reacted angrily: “The dispute over the management and future direction of the Mörbisch Seefestspiele is another example of how the sole SPÖ government is not doing Burgenland any good. The Burgenland taxpayers are once again responsible for the arbitrary decisions of the governor asked “, said country manager Patrik Fazekas in a broadcast. (apa)