Bavaria’s Bachler: Why I kept the ballet at work

An unusual communication from the Munich boss issued in light of police interest in the company’s continued actitives.

Unfortunately, the Bayerische Staatsoper is forced to postpone Marina Abramović’s opera project 7 Deaths of Maria Callas, which was prepared in the last weeks in the form of workshops in small groups, to a later date. The reason for this is the fact that from now on the participation of orchestra and large stage crew would be necessary and alternatives are not justifiable. As a result, large parts of the staff will be released from duty until April 19 in agreement with the Ministry. The house will no longer be able to continue the Monday Concert broadcasts. Exceptions are the administration – partly from the home office – and the production of protective masks in the costume department of the Staatsoper, of course only on a voluntary basis.

Director Nikolaus Bachler comments: “In addition to the problems surrounding final rehearsals, I find it particularly difficult, from an artistic point of view, to push ahead with a project – albeit under the strictest of precautions for the safety of all involved – that links one of the greatest living artists, Marina Abramović, and the greatest singer of the post-war period, Maria Callas, and fathoms it as an encounter in death. This would have been of urgent necessity and relevance in times when death is repressed. In the moment when for many people it is really a matter of life and death, other questions arise – this has become particularly clear to me in the last few days.

I have hesitated for a long time with the decision, because the unconditional will and dedication of the team around Marina Abramović has been impressive in the past weeks and many in the house have pushed the project forward with great commitment. I would also like to reiterate that all activities of the last few weeks were carried out in close consultation with the Ministry. But now it is time to stop preperations for the time being, even if it hurts me personally.

I naturally understand the great uncertainty of all employees. Nevertheless, we need courage for the future. Many positive images of the past weeks have come from creative people and artists. Therefore, we need art more than ever.”

 

share this

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
  • V.Lind says:

    What universe is this guy living in?

  • John Borstlap says:

    For people, who are not much informed about the world of established concept art, it might be interesting to know that Mrs Abramovic is not a composer. She is a concept performance artist.

    https://garagemca.org/en/event/marina-abramovi-the-artist-is-present

    The music going with this concept performance production consists of fragments of various classical composers, plus the work of Marko Nikodijevic:

    https://www.staatsoper.de/en/productioninfo/7-deaths-of-maria-callas.html

    Who is Mr Nikodijevic? He is a sonic artists with works specially created for people whose cultural horizon is only limited by blackness:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gblqnskR_R4

    I think the sounds are beautiful and atmospheric, they include snippets of music, like recollections of folk music overheard in the real world of lonely villages in the Balkans where none of the concept art ideas find a warm welcome.

    It should be stressed that Maria Callas is definitely NOT taking part in this production since, unfortunately, she has died already many years ago.

    The only truly musical parts will be played by composers who are as dead as Mrs Callas. Anybody still alive, deal with concept art.

    Mr Bachler insists:

    “…… a project – albeit under the strictest of precautions for the safety of all involved – that links one of the greatest living artists, Marina Abramović, and the greatest singer of the post-war period, Maria Callas, and fathoms it as an encounter in death. This would have been of urgent necessity and relevance in times when death is repressed. In the moment when for many people it is really a matter of life and death, other questions arise – this has become particularly clear to me in the last few days.”

    One can be forgiven for thinking that this production wants audiences to understand that people are dying from corona virus infections, a bit of information that apparently has been repressed by the mainstream media today. It was a fate that Mrs Callas did not have to confront, as far as we know.

    Mr Bachler concludes:

    “Many positive images of the past weeks have come from creative people and artists. Therefore, we need art more than ever.”

    For people with enough understanding of culture and, especially, serious music, this can only be fully agreed with. Therefore it is puzzling that the Bavarian State Opera, of all institutions in a country which considers itself a ‘Kulturnation’, has put so much efforts into a production which obviously has nothing to do with music and even less with opera, and we could say: which has nothing to do with art at all. And: what could be positive in a production that wants audiences to be reminded of death? In the midst of a pandemic?

    I am quite puzzled by the question where the thinking has gone, in this entire story.

    I always found the antics of Mrs Abramovic – like walking along the Chinese wall as a work of performance art – entirely nonsensical and deserving to be put in the same category of charlatanerie as the urinal of Marcel Duchamp, who had a good laugh about the naivety and inability of the modern art establishments to make meaningful assessments in their field. The ‘work’ of this lady therefore belongs in the museums which waste both their (tax) money and spaces on cultivating the nonsense that appears to meet a great demand in the modern world.

    • Couperin says:

      For people not informed with “Mrs” Abramovic, she actually is not married 😉

      • psq says:

        The social etiquette in Germany is to address all grown up women as Mrs. including those who are not married. That is correctly done by the Bayerische Staatsoper.

      • John Borstlap says:

        My PA tells me that this lady is ‘too old to be addressed as a miss’. And she is an expert in not being married.

      • John Borstlap says:

        On further reflection – I have very little experience in marriage since I have married only once – I think such bold performance artists who walk all alone over the full length of the Chinese Wall deserve the accolade which is usually accredited to women who have survived a considerable number of married life. Walking the full Chinese Wall is the perfect symbol of average marriage.

  • Allen says:

    Sorry, but did I miss something here, or was this just left out? The title of the article is “WHY I KEPT THE BALLET AT WORK”, and I don’t see that explained at all. (?)

  • So… because it was important to remind people of death.

  • >