The Sydney Festival has booked a German orchestra for its Dido & Aeneas next year because it works out cheaper than employing Australians, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
The festival's artistic director, Lieven Bertels, said it was ''a considerably lower cost'' to pay for the flights, accommodation and wages of German orchestra Akademie fuer Alte Musik Berlin than use the Sydney-based Australian Brandenburg Orchestra to perform in Dido & Aeneas. ''We tried to do it with a local orchestra, the Australian Brandenburg, but it turned out to be more expensive with them than a German orchestra,'' he said.
Both Bertels and the Brandenburg's general manager blamed the price difference on 'German subsidies'.
But in fact the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin receives no subsidies at all. The Brandenburg on the other hand gets 16% of its income from the government, which must help support its sizable admin team. Could it just be that the Germans are more efficient?