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OMV and Gazprom: Project sponsors of grand Russian opera at the Salzburg Festival

Against the backdrop of the 9th International Gas Forum, Salzburger Festspiele, Gazprom and OMV have signed a sponsoring agreement for the performance of Russian opera at the Salzburg Festival’s 100-year anniversary celebrations in 2020.

The agreement was signed by Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburger Festspiele, Elena Burmistrova, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Director General of Gazprom Export as well as Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV. The successful cooperation of OMV and its St. Petersburg-based business partner Gazprom goes back 51 years. And their strategic partnership has recently gone from strength to strength, extending to the cultural sphere. 

The Salzburg Festival celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. It was founded in 1920 by poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal, theater and film director Max Reinhardt, composer Richard Strauss, head of the Wiener Staatsoper Franz Schalk, and set designer Alfred Roller. Because, as Hofmannsthal writes, “Salzburg is the heart of the heart of Europe”, and because the founders hoped to heal the wounds of WWI through art and culture. It has grown into a genuine success story in terms of both artistic expression and economics. In its centenary year, the Festival will host around 200 events, with opera, drama and concerts at 18 venues over 41 days. One of the anniversary productions will be a grand Russian opera, made possible by the new project sponsors OMV and Gazprom. The anniversary program will be published on November 13, 2019.

“If the Salzburg Festival has a reputation for being the best in the world, then that is also thanks to the many Russian artists who grace our stage every year. As early as 1921, the first members of what was then the Imperial Russian Ballet came from St. Petersburg and captured the hearts of the international guests and foreign and Austrian media. That’s why we see the partnership between the Festival, OMV and Gazprom as an exceptionally welcome and appropriate anniversary gift”, said Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburger Festspiele.

“I am very happy that our cooperation with OMV reaches new dimension, and we are able to implement in 2020 a joint project together with Salzburg festival. It's an event of global scale that will celebrate the 100 years of this major festival in Europe”, said Elena Burmistrova, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Director General of Gazprom Export Director General of Gazprom Export. 

“After the success of our cooperation initiatives in St. Petersburg and Vienna in recent years, we are delighted to make another contribution to promoting cultural exchange between Austria and Russia through this special partnership”, said Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV. 

OMV resolved to expand their economic partnership with Gazprom to include joint cultural projects in 2016. The goal of this cultural dialog is to promote and support the exchange between Russia and Austria and the initiative has already facilitated multiple events in both countries.

In recent years, renowned Austrian and Russian performers have played together at a gala concert with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic – including members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Mariinski Theater, and the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia led by Yuri Bashmet. In fall 2017, a major Rubens exhibition was held at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, for which three works by Peter Paul Rubens arrived in the Austrian capital on loan from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg at the invitation of OMV and Gazprom. In 2018, masterpieces on loan from the Hermitage – including those by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Tintoretto and Botticelli – were presented together with works owned by the Kunsthistorisches Museum and displayed alongside each other. Having been shown in Vienna, the exhibition then moved to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg where it delighted visitors from across the globe. 

Background information:

OMV AG is Gazprom's main partner in Austria. The companies cooperate in gas production, transportation and supplies.
In June 2018, an Agreement was signed to extend until 2040 the existing contract between Gazprom Export and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading GmbH for Russian gas supplies to Austria.
In October 2018, Gazprom and OMV signed the Memorandum on Strategic Cooperation and the Basic Agreement on Asset Sale.
In 2018, Gazprom delivered to Austria 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas, an increase of 34.8 per cent (or 3.2 billion cubic meters) against 2017 (9.1 billion cubic meters).

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of more than 20,000 employees in 2018, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria as part of the Central and Eastern Europe core region as well as a balanced international portfolio, with Russia, North Sea, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia-Pacific as further core regions. 2018 daily production stood at approximately 427,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 mn tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. OMV runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany; its subsidiary Gas Connect Austria GmbH operates a gas pipeline network in Austria. In 2018, gas sales volumes amounted to around 114 TWh. Sustainability is an integral part of the corporate strategy. OMV is set to invest EUR 500 mn in innovative energy solutions by 2025.

OMV Cultural Sponsoring 
As one of Austria's largest listed industrial companies, OMV also has a responsibility towards society. This is why it is proactively involved in initiatives that benefit society as well as in sports and cultural projects. In the cultural sphere, OMV supports renowned cultural institutions in Austria and promotes cultural exchanges between Austria and the core OMV regions. OMV has been the general sponsor of the Wiener Staatsoper since 2014. In addition to this, it is a longstanding partner of the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, as well as the Leopold Museum and the Austrian National Library.

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