>Reality Meets Opera

>I should be writing about the recent news coming out of Salzburg regarding the Easter Festival, but I haven’t got the full story yet (it’s still developing.) The story so far is that the CEO of the Easter Festival (a separate entity from the Summer Festival, but basically the same offerings — operas and concerts with top names from the classical music world) pocketed large sums of money over the last eight years, including illegally taking cuts from patron donations and sending the money off to foreign banks. It seems that he had his tax adviser (I’m really hoping she isn’t the one I use), his technical director and his lawyer in on the deal in some way or another. The technical director, named in several newspapers as one of the main culprits, jumped from a bridge this week in a suicide attempt (he survived and is in ICU.) He had been fired recently for having illegally taken work outside of the festival (and hauling in hundreds of thousands of euros.)

It is only fitting that Austria’s financial scandal would involve opera, one of its biggest industries. And the Salzburg festivals absolutely drip with money and prestige.

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5 Responses to >Reality Meets Opera

  1. Gummo says:

    >The technical director, named in several newspapers as one of the main culprits, jumped from a bridge this week in a suicide attemptGeez, I wish our big-time crooks had this kind of integrity. Not to mention the capacity to actually feel shame.

  2. Marcellina says:

    >You know, I was talking about this story with someone in the theater today, who expressed anger at Kretchmer's act of "cowardice." On the contrary, I said, it takes courage to end your life, whether it's an act of honor or running away from something. He wasn't depressed or anything. Just saw no way out, I guess.

  3. Marcellina says:

    >But you're absolutely right — the inability for our high-end criminals to feel any shame at all is telling.

  4. Gummo says:

    >Well, I'm also in the "suicide is cowardice" camp (in most circumstances). Also, very cruel to those left behind.But I was just commenting on his ability to discern right and wrong, and know which side of the divide his actions fell on.Refreshing, really.

  5. Marcellina says:

    >The Japanese Samurai, for instance, maintaining their honor with Harakiri…

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