Waiting in my postbox this evening was Stretta, the monthly magazine of the Friends of the Wiener Staatsoper. It’s a modest publication that’s good mainly for the event tips – radio, TV and live – printed in the back pages. The only contributor worth reading is president of the Friends Karl Korinek, who can’t write anything critical or unsupportive, so instead contorts his discontent into amusingly slippery, Waldheim-like formulations. Commenting on the recent contract extensions for Dominique Meyer (until 2020) and Franz Welser-Möst (until 2018 with the option to extend for a further two years), Korinek has the obligatory nice things to say about both, but reading between the lines it all comes down to this juxtaposition:
It is particularly pleasing that Franz Welser-Möst’s artistic leadership of the Staatsoper will continue. His presence on the podium in recent years has led to exceptional evenings of opera. [...] The orchestra is playing on a level we have rarely heard since Karajan’s time.
We wish Dominique Meyer much success in the next few years, for in a house that lays claim to being world-class there are always things which one can do better.