German Workers' Strike Forces Cancellations at Bavarian State Opera

Classic Arts News   German Workers' Strike Forces Cancellations at Bavarian State Opera
Munich's Bavarian State Opera canceled two performances this week because of the national strike staged by the public employees union, Ver.di, which includes the company's technical staff.

The strike, which was called to protest a plan to extend the work week without an increase in pay, began February 13. Initially, the company avoided canceling performances, instead simplifying stagings and giving some performances in concert form.

"The organizational consequences, however, are catastrophic," the company said on its web site. "Because of overstresses on the non-striking personnel and the collapse of the logistical system in the largest operatic operation in the world, the Bavarian State Opera is now forced to cancel performances."

Performances of Handel's Rodelinda on March 20 and Verdi's Il travatore last night were canceled. In addition, the company said it would give scheduled performances of Il trovatore and Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice over the next week in concert form, and would present Rodelinda, Wagner's G‹tterd‹mmerung, and Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria in "a scenically modified version."

Patrons holding tickets for the canceled performances and the operas presented in concert form may apply for refunds over the company's web site.

"The Bavarian State Opera continues to fight for the ability to present every single performance," a statement on the web site said. "The management of the Bavarian State Opera expects both the Bavarian State Government and Ver.di to be aware of their responsibility to the audience and to bring about a rapid resolution of the labor dispute. Otherwise there is no avoiding a long-term disruption of our performance schedule, which could inflict severe damage on the reputation of the Bavarian State Opera."

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