Bogdan Roscic threatens shakeout of Vienna Opera singers

Bogdan Roscic threatens shakeout of Vienna Opera singers


norman lebrecht

December 29, 2019

In an interview with Der Standard, the incoming director speaks of a ‘relatively large’ change in the ensemble, meaning that quite a few established singers will lose their Vienna jobs.

He also talks of importing used productions from other houses and a variety of foreign orchestras such as Teodor Currentzis’ Music Aeterna’.

A Roscic company is seldom a happy one. Ask them at Decca and Sony Classics.


  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I would give him the benefit of the doubt. Afterall, artistically speaking, as opposed to box office, this company is hardly going through one of their golden periods. We should wait and see before we reach conclusions.

  • Tamino says:

    That’s an ugly move. Bringing in Musica Aeterna, the underpaid orchestra from Russia, regularly. To weaken the house’s own orchestra. Neoliberal ideology and power play (divide et impera) at its worst.
    Or will the tickets with Musica Aeterna then only cost 5€? I guess not…
    This is a declaration of war, and Roscic is probably overestimating his power already.

    • Nik says:

      “Auch wenn Roščić etwa mit Teodor Currenztis’ musicAeterna auch Fremdorchester ans Haus holen will, wird sich an der Rolle des Staatsopernorchesters ‘überhaupt nichts’ ändern. ‘Für bestimmte Werke werden seit Jahren Fremdorchester geholt. Das wird auch in Zukunft so sein. Aber das sind einzelne, musikalisch begründete Ausnahmen. Weder strebe ich etwas anderes an, noch wäre es ökonomisch möglich.'”
      Doesn’t sound like a declaration of war to me, and it’s hardly unusual. Is it a declaration of war on the ROH orchestra when the OAE comes in to play a Handel opera?

      • Tamino says:

        OK, but a leader can do two things: shake things up once he is in power. Or make a declaration that he will shake things up once he is in power, in fact later.
        Have you read Sun Tzu‘s ‚The Art of Warfare‘?

  • Novagerio says:

    Clearly another lobbyist in charge.

  • Thomas Silverbörg says:

    Has he been taking misery lessons from the head of the Bavarian State Opera?

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    Maazel also tried to shake up that house, and we all know how they thanked him for it…

    • Novagerio says:

      Not quiet the same. Maazel introduced the Stagione system in the house, wich meant that people had to get used to well-rehearsed performances with the same cast and not randomly picked up casts and 7 different operas a week. And let’s not get into the odious antisemitism Maazel had to endure from the side of the critics, some part of the audience and a corrupt cabinet of politicians. Ok, he was arrogant, but 1982-84 were the last years a celebrated musician was in charge of the Vienna State Opera.

      • Nik says:

        Abbado 1986-91..? Not a celebrated musician?

        • Novagerio says:

          Claus Helmut Drese was in charge of the Vienna Opera during Abbado’s 5 years! Abbado was merely a guest conductor in his own house, cos he didn’t want anything to do with administrative duties. Learn the difference between General Manager and Music Director!

  • RW2013 says:

    What does the incoming new music director have to say?

  • Musician says:

    But the state of the Vienna state opera right now is that of a provincial house with a top class orchestra. Inconsistent, rarely any ensemble or music making. The last four operas I saw there were simply bad. Last one being Bohème where the second rate cast couldn’t even be heard, lead by Garifulina as Mimi.

  • John R says:

    ANOTHER ARROGANT “GENIUS” put in charge of a Temple of Art of long-standing, acknowledged contributions? Part of the overall corporate boss, relatively inexperienced and artistically talentless (including taste, musicality) takeover of the greatest institutions worldwide–possibly disastrous (e.g.: NYC OPERA) or, at least, flirting with disaster (eg: Metropolitan Opera–still TBD!) when truly anti-art, self-destructive but extremely wealthy Boards put their boy in absolute Power.

  • La-di-da says:

    It is all about pushing the costs down. And as long there are the singers who will sing underpaid and musicians who will play underpaid, people like this , hardcore managers, will do as they do…
    anyways, the people like this think that music is simply a expensive noise , and the saved money will go into enormous evening payments of 2-3 Stars, and crazy stage directors…