The director of the Vienna State Opera, Bogdan Roščić, will remain in office beyond 2025: his contract will be extended. Roščić had applied for another five years. He will stay until 2030, State Secretary for Art and Culture Andrea Mayer (Greens) announced on Monday. In doing so, she followed the recommendation of the selection committee after the end of the new call for applications, to which a total of eleven people had applied.
Due to the long lead times in the opera, the position was advertised in April, more than three years before the end of the contract. The application period ran until mid-May. The extension of Roščić’s contract was considered to be foreseeable, as he had kept the apparatus running during the difficult time of the pandemic and also caused a stir internationally with the handling of premieres.
“With outstanding musical achievements and the first steps towards a rejuvenation of the director’s handwriting, Roščić is strengthening the position of the house as a leading international opera stage,” Mayer explained her decision. “He managed to keep the Vienna State Opera visible and audible far beyond national borders at a time marked by restrictions and uncertainties.”
“I accept the challenge of running the State Opera until 2030 because I have a clear idea of where it has to go in this extraordinary time,” Roščić said confidently in the same broadcast: “Directing this opera is not a ‘job ‘, which you do for as long as possible. It’s always about the question of whether you can give the institution what it needs at a certain moment. I hope that my answer to this can stand up to this great responsibility.”
Bundestheater-Holding Managing Director Christian Kircher also referred to what is probably the most important challenge of the next term of office: “The planned venue for children’s and young people’s operas and participatory mediation formats in the French Hall in the Künstlerhaus represents a big step towards young people even more for the opera in the future to inspire.”
Roščić addressed this himself in the program preview for the 2022/23 season: The house should open up more and be there for everyone, he said. “Not only do we have some of the most expensive tickets in the opera world, we also continue to have the cheapest,” which are intended to appeal more to young people.
According to Bogdan Roščić at the time, the current season was “an extremely difficult one”. “In the worst times of the pandemic, we knew what was working and what was not.” the absence of tourists is also still a fact. But: “Despite the cancellation of the opera ball, we are within budget.”