The Summer of Discovery – Reflecting Our Times, Reflecting the World
“The familiar offers us protection, and innovation is often difficult. Seldom have we been so flooded with old things, and we must watch out not to lose track of the present. We know how indispensable creating thinking and work is for tomorrow. The clock constantly advances,” thus Artistic Director Jürgen Flimm in his inaugural address of the Salzburg Festival 2007.
This summer brought success for the young and excellent singers, such as Annette Dasch, Mojca Erdmann, Bernard Richter, Joseph Kaiser, Anna Samuil or John Relya, among others, who received a large part of the positive resonance the Festival has found. Audiences proved themselves to be particularly curious this season: Armida and Benvenuto Cellini, two rarely performed operas, were discovered and received with great enthusiasm.
The concert program was no less successful: Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra won many friends as the “Conductor and Orchestra in Residence”. As Markus Hinterhäuser, Director of Concerts, said, “The demands that are – rightfully – made of the Festival may be fulfilled through certain constellations of programming and casting.”
Thomas Oberender, Director of Theater, was also very happy with the enthusiastic audiences. With the successful production of Quartett at the Carabinieri-Saal and Poets in Residence at Schloss Leopoldskron, he has opened up two new venues for the Festival. “I wanted to break through the monotony of the usual cultural theater brands. The audiences accepted the actors, who were excellent, but relatively unknown in Salzburg,” Oberender said.
Not just the great majority of regular visitors – over 70% of Festival’s visitors return regularly – became convinced of the Festival’s programmatic motto “The Nocturnal Side of Reason”, but also new audience groups. The Festival Talks and Dialogues which offered further related insights were met with great enthusiasm.
The Salzburg Festival 2007 (July 27 – August 31) was sold at 94% of capacity in its 207 events. Commercial Director Gerbert Schwaighofer is happy to report that the lesser-known works also added to this high quota of sold tickets. The pricing policy should also be pointed out: song recitals, solo recitals, world premieres by Fabre, Marthaler and Perceval, the Young Directors Project or Poets in Residence were able to attract a younger audience due to attractive ticket pricing. 50% of all tickets printed cost less than € 100, and almost 30% cost only € 50 or less.
As an important engine for economic growth, the Salzburg Festival is also a successful model. Thus the findings of a current study by the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce: the overall effect of the Festival for the region’s economy has grown to € 225 million. Compared to the same period in 2002, when the figure was € 168 million, this is a very significant increase. “The results paint an impressive picture of the Salzburg Festival. Apart from making Salzburg a major cultural city, the economic impact of the Salzburg Festival is of inestimable value both for the region as well as for the state,” says the President of the Festival, Helga Rabl-Stadler.