Ladies of the Manor
Vicious fights and tender memories play out against the backdrop of a crumbling stately home - eavesdrop on scenes from a marriage of convenience.
Produced by Eva Roither for Ö1 (May 2011)

They have been living together for thirty years – the Lady of Lengenfeld Castle (b. 1925) and her housekeeper (b. 1920). Quite alone in 600 square metres of space. Although this doesn’t mean that the two women address one another in the intimate ‘you’ form; only in the heat of an argument do they ever forget the polite ‘you’. And the arguments are unquestionably frequent, for both the former artist Christa Hauer-Fruhmann and Maria Moser, who was once a mere farm labourer, have learnt to come out on top in life.

The author Eva Roither together with sound-engineer Martin Leitner visited the ladies over a period of several years and recorded scenes from an unusual relationship.

Produced for the Feature Department of the ORF (Austrian Radio and Television), radio channel Ö1. Winner of the Prix Europa, 2011 and the feature-award at Stiftung Radio Basel.

Eva Roither (born 1969) studied literature and dramatics at the University of Vienna and at the Institute of Theatre, Film and Media Science. She began writing for several newspapers in 1990 and since 1993 she has been working for the cultural radio channel Ö1 at ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation). Author of many features on various subjects, ranging from portraits of writers to documentaries concerning social policy and human relations. She has been the co-producer of the serial feature program Hörbilder since 2004.

Martin Leitner (born 1964) has worked for ORF (Austrian Broadcast Corporation) in Vienna since 1985 as tonmeister / balance engineer in different fields – live broadcasts, music production, radio drama, feature and acoustic art. He has been involved in many prize winning feature productions at the Prix Europa, Prix Italia, New York Festivals and Stiftung Radio Basel.

Recordings: Martin Leitner and Eva Roither

Mixing: Martin Leitner

Speaker: Karl Menradt and the Author

Special Sounds: Stefan Weber

Edited by: Elisabeth Stratka

Epilogue: Maria Moser died in May 2012 and a few months later, in March 2013, Christa Hauer-Fruhmann died. The entire art collection belongs now to the Lower Austria province and will be shown in a new built museum in Krems. The castle will be renovated and there are plans to transform it into a place for artists-in-residence.