Saturday, October 04, 2014

In truth Pereira wanted to stay in Salzburg

[Translated from today's edition of the Salzburger Nachrichten.  He is writing about things I don't know anything about, thus making it hard to translate.]

By Wolfgang Gmachl 

The Baroque "impresario" who owned the Salzburg blew the march. Of course, with this conflicts were programmed.

There were no stones, there were rocks that fell from the hearts of many as the "God with us" Alexander Pereira a month ago disappeared highly motivated in the direction of Milan. Now we can have rest - almost silence. Gone are three years of a reign that brought the biggest public success to the biggest festival in the world, that had dared and won a lot.

It was the 41st Salzburg Festival in unbroken succession, I was able to experience in the summer. And the three years of directorship of Alexander Pereira mark not only for me a high point of the Festival's history.

As Pereira was unanimously nominated by a selection committee and appointed as unanimously by the Trustees, the world still seemed fine - but only for a few hours, because of the baroque "impresario" blew the march for his festival and broke new ground. [Above my grade.]  Conflicts were programmed. His critics had written in the album: Pereira wanted to stay in Salzburg and in truth we have a lot to thank him for.

1 This includes the
Ouverture Spirituelle that appealed together with the Disputationes of the Herbert Batliner Institute, under the scientific direction of Erhard Busek, a whole new audience and thus the known target groups also gained a lot of sympathy for the Salzburg Festival. With the project torn out-the individual contributions came on philosophical considerations, a new dimension of the political into the game.  [He brought in this new group, perhaps as donors.]

2 Pereira in 2013, the event El Sistema - whose founder José Antonio Abreu, in the festival opening speech - enforced against opposition and
financed outside the festival budget (!!). An "insubordination" for which to thank him.  [He brought in this other new group, also perhaps as donors.]

3 For the Whitsun Festival Pereira won with Cecilia Bartoli an artistic director who is almost a godsend for this small but brilliant festival.   [He brought in Cecilia Bartoli.]

4 Pereira's conviction that a festival like the one in Salzburg could only offer premieres, was initially ignored by me as wasteful. It remained unnoticed that the sale of such productions to other opera houses can import more money than reprises in-house.  Undeniably premieres are the strongest crowd puller of a festival. The gifted networker and Fundriser was just miles ahead of us.  [He insisted on only new productions which would then be sold to other companies.]

5 An important contribution to the renewal of the Festival has Pereira, media expert, with his projects "Abduction from the Seraglio" (staging and TV recording in Hangar-7) as well as the live broadcast of this year's "Don Giovanni" with backstage and background scenarios provided. He has made it possible that the possibilities of contemporary media are not yet exhausted, but the foundation for Festivals of the 21st century was laid.  [He arranged for this year's streaming on]

6 His commitment to the future audience is served by his own, very successful program for children and young people - in this summer alone were 8000 children in the auditorium to see Cenerentola.  This has never happened at the Festival before. Thus Pereira defined here also the requirements for a future of the Salzburg Festival.  [He attracted more children than ever before.]

7 His often emotional struggle to find an appropriate level for the festival made it ​​in any case once more clear that the Salzburg Festival delivers a net contribution significantly more in taxes than they receive in subsidies, and has ultimately led to a long overdue granting of index matching funds of 2,500,000 for 2015.   [The festival delivers more money in taxes than it costs in subsidies.  The subsidy will increase in 2015.]

Finally, we take a lot of suggestions with us for the future: A new attempt of a European Art Forum - such as in Gerard Mortier's time in 1996 - is obvious. Salzburg has to do so by the
Ouverture Spirituelle, the Herbert-Batliner Institute, Convoco and the Festival Dialogues of Friends of the Salzburg Festival has great potential. A new form of cooperation with the Easter Festival is back on the agenda.

We must be particularly pleased that Alexander Pereira will bring close the Christmas concert of La Scala the Silent Night Oberndorf an international audience together with the two TV channels RAI and Servus TV.

Wolfgang Gmachl was longtime director of the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce, People's Party Member of Parliament and representatives of numerous cultural institutions.

[I hope you can read this, such as it is.  I tried to translate it because I find it very shocking.  It's nice to know that stupid things don't just happen here.

Pereira has been for the last three years the head of the Salzburg Festival.  In this article a Salzburg resident attempts to explain the main things that Pereira contributed to the festival during his tenure.  It is now the most important of all the summer festivals.  They lured him away from Zurich who were very sorry to see him go only to push him out the door when he did what they wanted him to do.  This was followed by a similar reaction in Milan.  They want him and they don't.  The concern about his management style seems to focus on money.]

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