Every summer, hundreds of thousands of people come from all over the world to the Salzburg Festival in Austria in anticipation of stunning performances.
This year the Festival’s artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser focuses on the mythology of antiquity with five new operatic productions, four new drama productions as well as numerous concerts.
The festival‘s opera premiere was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart‘s Idomeneo staged by Peter Sellars, the American theater director noted for his unique contemporary stagings of classical and contemporary operas and plays.
Other opera highlights were Alcina by George Frederick Handel, Salome by Richard Strauss and Orphée aux enfers by Jacques Offenbach. George Enescus’ Oedipe, a rarely performed work, was staged by Achim Freyer to great acclaim starring the British baritone Christopher Maltman in the strenuous title role - wonderfully cast and an outstanding achievement.
The Festival’s concert program features Ouverture Spirituelle, Orchester zu Gast, and numerous chamber concerts. The Vienna Philharmonic orchestra performs every year at the Festival and the five concert cycles for this season are conducted by the legendry Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt and Franz Welser-Möst.
On the Liederabende scene French soprano Patricia Petibon and the American pianist Susan Manoff stand out with a recital of songs by Spanish, French and American composers, a truly unconventional concert experience as they dress up as chefs and throw food related props into the audience to much delight.
Bettina Hering, the festival’s drama director, leads four new productions. An annual theatrical highlight is Jedermann by Hugo von Hofmannsthal with Tobias Moretti returning in the lead role with Valery Tscheplanowa as the new Paramour.
On a shiny note, a collaboration between Swarovski and the Salzburg Festival resulted in seven productions sparkling with an estimated two million individual crystals. “Every time I walk into the costume department, another outrageous design has been added to the costumes,” said Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler during the lead up to the Festival. “The Salzburg Festival has a certain flair, more than a touch of glamour, something hard to define; this is also part of its fascinating aura.” The 99th edition of the Salzburg Summer Festival takes place from July 20 to August 31, 2019.
The Salzburg Festival in Numbers:
199 performances in 43 days in 16 venues:
Opera: 42 performances
5 New productions
2 Concert opera performances
Drama: 55 performances
4 New productions
Revival of Jedermann
4 Drama Investigations
Staged performance (Orlando di Lasso: Lagrime di San Pietro / Peter Sellars)
Concert performance (Pascal Dusapin: Medeamaterial)
4 Public Master Classes
5 Special performances