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The new 2013 Festival program

7 NOV 2012

published in: Opera, Drama, Concert, General

Helga Rabl-Stadler, Alexander Pereira
A thousand thanks for all the interest and enthusiasm with which you greeted our new start in 2012. And special thanks for your spontaneous support of the new elements we presented in our programme – from the Ouverture spirituelle to our contemporary music series and to the highly acclaimed production of Die Soldaten. With 278.500 guests we were able to receive the greatest number of visitors in the Festival’s history.

We are confident that many surprises are awaiting you in the programme of the 2013 Festival summer. A dominant theme is formed by the works of Wagner and Verdi: operas from their middle and later periods are being staged in new productions while select early operas are being performed in concert.

And of course, we will attend to Mozart’s works – both our major focus and greatest challenge. Così fan tutte will be the opening opera in our Mozart / Da Ponte cycle, in a new production by our head of theatre Sven-Eric Bechtolf with Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

Our opera programme will open with Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain, as a replacement for the planned premiere by György Kurtág who needs more time to complete his score. This is a risk one has to take in commissioning new pieces; creativity cannot be commanded. We are grateful to our successful Soldaten team of Ingo Metzmacher and Alvis Hermanis for their readiness to take on the challenges of realising a new work at short notice, so that this two-act opera based on the celebrated Arthurian story of Gawain, seeker after the Holy Grail, and the Green Knight can receive its Austrian premiere.

In the Ouverture spirituelle, which also encompasses the new production of Jedermann, we wish to open the minds of our audiences to Buddhist traditions and rituals. This venture will be continued in our series Salzburg contemporary, in which we will present not only Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain but also the music of the composers Tōru Takemitsu and Toshio Hosokawa.

A core element of our programme will be the encounter with 1.400 children of El Sistema – a unique and exemplary project that has never been presented so comprehensively outside Venezuela before. The enclosed DVD shows a portrait documenting the history of this unique undertaking.

The series will open with Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, a work that is an ideal showcase for the various orchestras and choruses and has also inspired us to programme performances of all Mahler’s nine completed symphonies in the course of the summer. More detailed information on all our projects can be found in the individual programme brochures.

And please bring your children for whom we are planning a host of exciting musical adventures. We hope that we have been able to arouse your interest in the 2013 Salzburg Festival and look forward to having you as our guests once again.

Helga Rabl-Stadler

Alexander Pereira