Just in: Vienna keeps Roscic (who stays male)

Just in: Vienna keeps Roscic (who stays male)


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2022

The Austrian culture secretary Andrea Mayer said not long ago that she wanted a woman to run the Vienna State Opera.

Most saw this as a statement of no-confidence in the present director Bogdan Roščić, who is in the middle of his first term.

A shortlist was lined up of six women and five men to audition for the job.

This morning, Bogdan Roščić was announced as the winner. He will remain in post until 2030.

Roščić, 58, said he would aim to appeal to a younger audience. According to some estimates, the Vienna Opera public is 10-15 years older than anywhere else.


  • Tamino says:

    It doesn‘t take a rocket scientist to figure, that the sentence „According to some estimates, the Vienna Opera public is 10-15 years older than anywhere else.“ is not based on actual data, even can‘t be.

    • Maria says:

      Just look around you the next time! No young people there like there is at English National Opera or Opera North in England. Even I felt young the last time I went to the opera in Vienna!

  • Günther Kraus says:

    I consider Roščić to be intelligent and passionate about his job. However everybody in the know in Wien says he is a bully, with many ensemble singers leaving the house at the end of the season in large part due to the fact that he has created a toxic work culture in the ensemble.

    Every new production but he has been responsible for it has been an outright disaster.

    Furthermore, most reviews from Vienna single out that the students of the Vienna opera studio tend to outperform the ensemble singers. What does that say about the level of casting?

    I guess the old saying about intendants is correct: they are like snakes. They are cold, slimy, and have no ears.

    However power mode Austria these posts are determined by politics affiliation artistic merit.

  • music lover says:

    How this man did get this job is a mystery to me.

  • The View from America says:

    Somebody ought to get this guy a tailor.

  • IP says:

    What makes you so sure? Plenty of time to transition until 2030 (or until they close house for lack of audience, whichever comes first)?

  • Peter says:

    Is it right to announce hoped-for gender, when advertising a job ? Or only in certain cases ?

  • Tamino says:

    „ Roščić, 58, said he would aim to appeal to a younger audience.“

    There is a lot of delusion always in such statements.
    There are generally no new audiences to appeal to. Sic! But there are existing audiences that can be driven away. Including their children…
    Yes, the newer generations need to be motivated to attend as well.
    But Austria like most western societies has a median age that is approaching 50, meaning half of the population are older than that.
    Also for opera visits you need, besides some cultural interest, two things: excess income and spare time.
    Nobody has that more these days than retired middle class people.
    Face it, that‘s the reality.
    Old people are there to stay. Embrace it.

    I would suggest two things.
    -free tickets for under 18 bundled with regular ticket sales by older people (parents and grandparents), so a family night to the opera doesn‘t break the bank

    -heavily discounted tickets for students (under 30)

    And do NOT program for „younger audiences“ in particular. Don’t dumb down anything. Do all productions to the highest artistic standards and respect to the composers and good traditions, and present it convincingly, confidently, and economically feasible.

  • guest says:

    They need Roscic to make Doninique Meyer’s tenure look good, and to help Roscic to greener pastures as they helped Meyer. After the future greener pastures will open their arms to embrace Roscic, Vienna will need someone worse than Roscic to make Roscic’s tenure look good. We haven’t hit rock bottom yet. Rock bottom is when your house remains empty, and this isn’t difficult to prevent by a corrupt management supported by corrupt politicians who can dispose of govt money. They can paper over the issue by handing over tickets to schools thus filling the house to some extent. A particularly reprehensible practice to expose the young to filthy stagings, and corrupt the youngsters’ understanding of opera, what little there is. One could argue that the youngsters’ mind is probably already corrupted from video games, but I see no reason to corrupt their understanding of music as well by mixing it with stagings lacking in every conceivable department save shock value (‘value’ in a manner of speaking.)

    As to Roscic being still male, this is an evil easily remedied, he just needs to self-identify as female. African-American female would be even better.

  • Urzula Zirne says:

    I wonder what does “appeal to younger audiences” mean?