The exercise seemed easy: in January we started a survey of the economic situation and capacity utilization of music theaters and related music festivals in Austria, which are generally better off than the acting sector. To do this, we asked organizations for six key figures from last season: number of events and visits, total budget, share of subsidies, sponsorships and ticket sales.
We crunched 25 titles. twice or more times in writing and, if necessary, by telephone. Getting answers has been difficult at times for a variety of reasons. So far, we’ve heard nothing from Nine’s addressees. Also strange, because data (except for sponsorship money) appears in every cultural report and subsidies, in particular, made possible by taxpayer money, are not allowed to be a secret.
Markus Sieber, press spokesman for the Wiener Musikverein, sees things differently: “Private institutions traditionally do not publish numbers,” he wrote to us. Oddly enough, we got the data from our “little brother”, the Styrian Musical Union, the next day. The Kulturkreis Deutschlandsberg together with the Piano Festivals and Taggenbrunner Festspiele asked for leniency for not being able to provide any information or only partial information. The only two opera numbers for Graz come from the seasonal report of the theatre’s contract; Marketing director Bernd Borcher has expressed concerns that more data might attract envious people.
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