(SF, 26 August 2022) The Salzburg Festival opened the dress rehearsals for Jedermann and Die Zauberflöte to the public this year, donating the proceeds to charity.
Left to right: Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser, Mag. Johannes Dines (Director, Caritas Salzburg),
Festival President Dr. Kristina Hammer, Mag. Stefan Schwabeneder (pro mente Salzburg),
Executive Director Mag. Lukas Crepaz
“The Salzburg Festival wants to give financial help and joy to those within our society who are not so well off. Thanks to the willingness of our artists to perform dress rehearsals without a fee, we are able to donate to charity by selling benefit tickets to these rehearsals. The focus of this year’s activities is on organizations and projects helping victims and those affected by the war of aggression in Ukraine: both the organizations ‘Doctors without Borders’ and ‘Nachbar in Not’ will receive 35,000 Euros. We also wish to help people in the city and state of Salzburg who are experiencing financial hardship; therefore, we are donating 20,000 Euros to the Caritas Salzburg. A further 10,000 Euros will go to the charitable organization for psychological and social rehabilitation ‘Pro Mente Salzburg’, benefiting children and teenagers who have suffered psychological damage due to the pandemic. In addition to offering financial help, we wish to keep these crises and issues at the forefront of the public eye,” says the Directorate of the Salzburg Festival.
Doctors without Borders: Currently, 570 Ukrainian staff members are deployed in Ukraine, plus 133 who have arrived from abroad. They deliver medical and humanitarian aid. Since 24 February, more than 800 tons of relief goods have been delivered to the war zone. “Doctors without Borders” sends surgeons, psychologists and nurses to Ukraine to provide instruction in emergency care. Medical trains evacuate patients from clinics near the frontline which are overburdened. Furthermore, “Doctors without Borders” supports care for survivors of sexual violence, trains psychological first responders and staff of shelters for women. Mobile clinics provide medical treatment; refugees reaching the borders are offered medical and psychological support.
ORF Nachbar in Not: This is another project offering humanitarian help locally. By distributing food and hygiene products, maintaining basic medical services, supporting hospitals and providing water, “Nachbar in Not” helps people endangered by war. Cash assistance and heating fuel are also provided quickly to those in need. The ORF supports Nachbar in Not‘s appeals for help in all its media.
Caritas Salzburg: The Salzburg Festival has had a partnership with the Caritas going back to its founding year. At the first performance of Jedermann on Cathedral Square in 1920, the performers offered their work for free, so that the Festival Association was able to donate the proceeds to charitable purposes. This year’s donation from the Salzburg Festival will be used by the Caritas to help people in need in Salzburg: it will benefit those who are experiencing existential need due to the most recent massive wave of price increases and require help from the Caritas’ social services and emergency aid points.
Pro Mente Salzburg: Another charitable institution receiving support is the society for psychological and social rehabilitation “Pro Mente Salzburg”. Due to the pandemic, the loss of social contact and leisure activities has massively increased psychological hardship and problems. The number of patients exhibiting depression, symptoms of phobia and sleep disturbances has increased between five- and tenfold. Addiction disorders, suicidal thoughts and eating disorders have also increased significantly. Despite these worrying statistics, many young people still consider it taboo to express these burdens and the associated suffering – often due to feelings of shame or fear of stigmatization. Under the motto “Crazy? So what!”, “Pro Mente” helps young people experiencing psychological crises and disorders overcome these conditions through regional offers of support.