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“OMV Ballet Fund”: Wiener Staatsoper and OMV set up fund to finance further training for dancers of the Wiener Staatsballett after their active dance careers

Press Release, November 27, 2017 - 4:30 pm (CET)

Vienna State Opera Director Dominique Meyer, Commercial Manager of the Wiener Staatsballett Simone Wohinz and OMV CEO Rainer Seele presented the OMV Ballet Fund at a press conference on 27 November 2017.

OMV, general sponsor of the Wiener Staatsoper, has allocated EUR 50,000 to the fund. It will be used exclusively for financing further education and training, for retraining dancers, and for supporting their new career paths after the end of their professional dance careers.

Director Dominique Meyer: “I am very grateful to Rainer Seele and OMV not only because we have been able to count on OMV as a general sponsor for many years, but also because we repeatedly receive support on special projects as well. I am especially delighted that OMV has spontaneously taken up an urgent social issue and is sending an important signal with the ‘OMV Ballet Fund’. But the most crucial thing is that this initiative provides concrete and ongoing help for dancers at the end of their careers with the Wiener Staatsballett – that is a genuinely human dimension.”

OMV CEO Rainer Seele: “We embrace our responsibility to society and support social, cultural and sports projects. As the general sponsor it was a no-brainer for us to find a solution to this challenge together with the Wiener Staatsoper. That’s why we launched the OMV Ballet Fund.”

The OMV Ballet Fund provides effective support in an area that could be described as a social gap: As a profession, ballet dancers may well have the most challenging vocation in the arts world from a physical perspective – their careers are usually over at around the age of 40 or often even earlier as the result of injury. As the members of the Viennese company are no longer governed by the Federal Theatre Pension Act (as of 1999), the social security of a pension immediately after the end of employment is no longer guaranteed. “Professional reorientation during active service is not usually possible due to the daily performance demands. This means that many dancers are confronted by existential questions at the end of their professional careers. That’s precisely where the OMV Ballet Fund comes in: Gaining qualifications through educational measures subsidized by the fund provides a new vocational direction and subsequently the chance of additional secure income”, said Simone Wohinz, Commercial Manager of the Wiener Staatsballett.

Retired dancers submit an application for support from the OMV Ballet Fund – a committee consisting of the Director of the Wiener Staatsoper, the Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and the Commercial Manager of the ballet decide on the financing or partial financing of the further education or training.

The first application has already been approved: Vienna State Ballet dancer Attila Bakó, who retired at the end of the 2016/2017 season, has received approval for the financing of the costs for a three-year degree in Communications at Vienna University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication. “A career as a ballet dancer is very limited in terms of time and very few dancers then get the opportunity to remain in the theatre world. For most a new career eventually becomes inevitable. The severe demands of the profession make it impossible to realize further training parallel to dancing. With the support of OMV and the Wiener Staatsoper I now have the chance to proactively shape my future. I want to acquire new skills and grow and develop in other areas of my professional life”, said Attila Bakó.

Background Information:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV is producing and marketing oil & gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 19 bn and a workforce of around 22,500 employees in 2016, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria and a balanced international portfolio. 2016 daily production stood at approximately 311,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV has an annual refining capacity of 17.8 mn tonnes and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries as of June 2017. OMV operates a gas pipeline network in Austria and gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany. In 2016, gas sales volumes amounted to 109 TWh.

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