Salzburg is at odds over renewing ‘safe’ president

Salzburg is at odds over renewing ‘safe’ president


norman lebrecht

August 26, 2015

Helga Rabl-Stadler has been president of the Salzburg Festival since 1995. The former tourist office bureaucrat, now 67, has counted in and out several changes of artistic regime. She is due to step down in 2017 but the local political leadership have announced they are supporting safe Helga (centre) for another term.

Helga herself, however, has said in an interview that she ‘sees no reason to stay on’. Confused? That’s how the game is played in Austria.

muti salzburg

In the same interview, Helga says she had to get rid of Gerard Mortier and Alexander Pereira because they couldn;t accept a woman as boss. The director she really liked was the irreproachably mediocre Peter Ruzicka.


  • Wolfgang Schaufler says:

    No wonder that Mortier and Pereira couldn’t accept a woman as a “bass”.
    Rabl-Stadler’s Interpretation of Boris Godunow is definitely nothing you have to call home about …

  • hypocritesgalore says:

    How about getting your facts right? She is a former journalist and member of parliament.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Seit 1983 ist sie Miteigentümerin des Modehauses Resmann in Salzburg. Von 1983 bis 1990 (XVI. und XVII. Gesetzgebungsperiode) und nochmals kurz vom 7. bis 30. November 1994 (XIX. Gesetzgebungsperiode) war sie für die Österreichische Volkspartei Abgeordnete zum Nationalrat. Hier setzte sie sich für flexible Arbeitszeiten, eine Liberalisierung der Ladenöffnungszeiten und bessere steuerrechtliche Bedingungen für Sponsoren ein.

      Ab 1985 war sie Vizepräsidentin der Kammer der gewerblichen Wirtschaft für Salzburg, ab 1988 deren Präsidentin. Von 1991 bis 1995 war sie Bundesobmann-Stellvertreterin der ÖVP.


    She told me once in an interview that the one she found easiest to work with was Cecilia Bartoli ….

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, Bartoli gets along with most people and is tactful, as well as being smart and a good manager. It is entirely possible she will one day run the whole festival.

  • Erich says:

    Rabl-Stadler has been a stabilising force at the Festival. She is also excellent with sponsors. Particularly when Markus Hinterhäuser takes over as Intendant in 2017, he will need someone like her to take care of the money so he can take care of the artistic profile since he is not skilled with sponsors. Changing to a new face at that time would be dangerous. She should stay.