Phoney Opera Producer Arrested in Vienna

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Lance
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Phoney Opera Producer Arrested in Vienna

Post by Lance » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:08 am

Phoney Opera Producer Arrested in Vienna

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) - 15 August 2005


VIENNA (dpa) — A 29-year-old man claiming to be an opera producer has been arrested in Vienna after leaving an entire ensemble in the lurch with more than 400,000 euros (US$480,000) debts, newspaper reports said last week.

Last week the man calling himself Peter Kafka disappeared after letting down the opera festival production Leonora on the eve of its planned premiere at Vienna's Palais Schwarzenberg on Wednesday [10 August].

Director Wolfgang Ritzberger was left with a finished production and fully rehearsed ensemble and orchestra, but without any money.

Police said the producer, who had constantly told his troupe that "money's not a problem", had left debts everywhere up till his arrest on Monday [8 August].

The troupe said they were hurt because they desperately wanted to perform. After the pseudo-producer, named by police as "Peter W.", went underground, there were many offers of help.

Spokesmen for the ensemble said they would in fact have a venue to perform, but "everything depends on the financing". The team needed about 60,000 euros.

Police charged that "Peter W." was a habitual fraudster who had previously been in conflict with the law in Salzburg and Munich. In the latter city he had worked for a time as a waiter, and singer at various parties.

Ritzberger said he did not quite understand how the fraudulent producer had intended to profit. He had possibly planned to abscond with sponsors' money or ticket fees.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 7:18 am

I'll make a point of asking around at the tables in Munich if anyone knows about this guy. :wink:

You would think that in Vienna they would know that it is properly called "Fidelio."

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:42 am

Phoney? How could they tell, standards for opera production are so . . . flexible? If Peter Sellars can have some of his offerings taken seriously, how were these folks to know?

John - The reason Beethoven's is called Fidelio is because he tried to call it Leonora and got in some legal trouble because Paer beat him to the story and the name. I prefer the Paer myself - it's more comic and more about mistaken identity, like a proper 18th Century opera. The article don't say who the composer is. There could be a dozen operas by the same name with different plots for all I know.
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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:52 am

Corlyss_D wrote:Phoney? How could they tell, standards for opera production are so . . . flexible? If Peter Sellars can have some of his offerings taken seriously, how were these folks to know?

John - The reason Beethoven's is called Fidelio is because he tried to call it Leonora and got in some legal trouble because Paer beat him to the story and the name. I prefer the Paer myself - it's more comic and more about mistaken identity, like a proper 18th Century opera. The article don't say who the composer is. There could be a dozen operas by the same name with different plots for all I know.
I knew all that, and you may be right, but it is about as unlikely as that anybody gives a public performance of "someone else's" Diabelli Variations.

You might want to consider dropping the facetious incorrect use of the second person if you want to live up to your recent compliment from Michael. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:11 am

jbuck919 wrote:I knew all that, and you may be right, but it is about as unlikely as that anybody gives a public performance of "someone else's" Diabelli Variations.
I think I've heard them on disc. Why wouldn't someone give a public performance of them? You know, Beethoven and his contemporaries kinda thing?
You might want to consider dropping the facetious incorrect use of the second person if you want to live up to your recent compliment from Michael. :wink:
Nah, it's an affectation I'm used to and very comfortable with. Been doin' it since I read the Lord Peter Wimsey novels of Dorothy Sayers some 30 years gone. Even me affectations are Limey . . . :wink:
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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:44 am

I hope they catch him. He can sing in prison.
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:12 am

Ralph wrote:I hope they catch him. He can sing in prison.
My life would be diminished if I could not occasionally give literality to Ralph's facetious references (and then have him come back and pretend to contradict me). He means, of course, that Fidelio is largely about a prison.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Ralph » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:31 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Ralph wrote:I hope they catch him. He can sing in prison.
My life would be diminished if I could not occasionally give literality to Ralph's facetious references (and then have him come back and pretend to contradict me). He means, of course, that Fidelio is largely about a prison.
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