Legal Action Threatened Against Salzburg Festival for Millions in Unpaid Wages

By David Salazar

Things are not looking great in Salzburg after several artists seemingly announced their intention to bring legal action against the Salzburg Festival.

According to Platea Magazine and Der Standard, lawyer George Strait made the announcement during a press conference in Vienna stating that he would file a legal complaint on behalf of several artists for the lack of payment to hundreds of workers by the festival.

Per the press conference, the festival’s administration has not paid several workers despite cancelations due to the pandemic.

Per tenor Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke, speaking to, the Festival owes freelance artists around 10 million euros for canceled productions in 2020; there are approximately 120 freelancers and 67 opera soloists affected by this situation.

For example, several chorus members had already rehearsed for the production of “Boris Godunov” but were never remunerated for those hours of work. Strait threatened that if no agreement is found between the parties, he would proceed with legal action.

He also noted that the artists wanted Festival Director Markus Hinterhaüser to step down from his position. He was appointed Artistic Director back in 2016; his current contract was extended in 2019 through 2026.

OperaWire has reached out to the Salzburg Festival for comment.