Bavaria’s Bachler: Why I kept the ballet at workmain
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.”