The resignation of the Salzburg Festival Director and Commercial Director is also required.
‘It was not force majeure’
Since June 2020, there have been major opening steps in Austria, which also made it possible to hold the Salzburg Festival at a reduced rate in August 2020. Some plays, plays and concerts have been permanently canceled, while others have been postponed. Kammersänger Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke asserted that the Board of Trustees of the Salzburg Festival was aware that force majeure was not legally valid under the circumstances.
67 soloists who were not paid
She added that in the original contracts there was no possibility of deferment without compensation, “however, 67 soloists who were not required to have legally valid contracts were not paid, even though there was an obligation to pay.” The same was done with some dedicated choir members, and about 120 people were affected. “Ordinary members of the Concert Association earned about twice the pay of the additional members, which is a flagrant violation of the principle of equality,” Ablinger-Sperrhacke said.
Demand for additional payments for 2020
Artists whose productions have been postponed were forced to sign dissolution agreements, even without compensation. “We are asking for additional payments for 2020,” Kammersänger said.
Politically, at the press event, jointly organized with the petition of lawyers for the self-employed, the Florestan initiative and Aufaufhaft für die Kunst, the second and third lock-down regulations were requested in general as in France for people with contracts: this meant exemption from taxation, as “Alternatively for tax assessors, sales are 80 percent after the previous year,” Ablinger-Sperrhacke says.
In connection with the Salzburg Festival, it is assumed that a total of ten million euros will have to be paid in arrears. In order to take action against violations of the law in the future, it is necessary to create a chamber for artists to represent the interests of independents.
Festival rejects allegations
After the allegations first became known in September, the Salzburg Festival confirmed that they were completely unfounded. “The Salzburg Festival was the only major festival in the world to take place in the summer of 2020, providing employment opportunities for hundreds of artists.”
The festival’s board of directors also managed to catch up with all productions originally planned for 2020 in approximately 2021 and 2022: “For this purpose, change agreements have been entered into with soloists, choirs and orchestras.”
And for the productions of “Intolleranza” and “Boris Godunow”, originally scheduled for 2020, the Concert Association has already organized rehearsals in Vienna in the spring. “For this purpose, the Salzburg Festival Board of Directors and the Concert Association have approved an advance fee, which is payable immediately.”
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