Dear Sir or Madam,

In 2014, Arenaria GmbH and the Esterhazy Group bailed out the Aida production of the private organiser, which had gone bankrupt, with a substantial financial expenditure. Because of these measures, the Aida tickets retained their validity, visitors and tourism partners avoided losses and numerous performers kept their employment. Arenaria GmbH subsequently organised three high-quality opera productions that were received with enthusiasm by the public and critics. However, despite indirect economic profitability of about 30 million euros and an annual tax revenue of about one million euros, these efforts were not appreciated by the state. The top-ranking officials of Burgenland denied any financial or non-material assistance; applications for funding received no response and invitations to discussion and to opening nights were not accepted. Arenaria GmbH was forced to take legal action against the state due to discriminatory treatment in the allocation of funding. The court fully agreed with Arenaria. Nevertheless, no accommodation was made in terms of policy to support this major, artistically and economically important event.

The Esterhazy Group fulfils the mission of its endowment by preserving Schloss Esterházy, Schloss Lackenbach and Burg Forchtenstein and making them available to the public and by supporting classical music in the tradition of Haydn. However, it is not possible to stage a 2018 opera production at the St. Margarethen stone quarry without any assistance or recognition from the state.

The Esterhazy Group continues to offer a diverse and broad cultural programme in Burgenland; for example, the HERBSTGOLD- Festival in Eisenstadt will begin on 6 September, 2017. The entire 2018 programme will be presented in detail this autumn.

We thank you for your understanding!