11 May 2021

Salzburg Festival named “Festival of the Year” at Opera Awards

A veritable shower of awards descended upon Salzburg yesterday evening at the digital Opera Awards ceremony.

The Salzburg Festival itself won the “Festival of the Year” award.

Happily, three further Festival artists were also honoured:
Robert Carsen was declared “Director of the Year”. He is currently directing the oratorio Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno by George Frideric Handel, which premieres at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival on 21 May and is scheduled for revival on 4 August.

Kirill Petrenko won the category “Conductor of the Year”. During the summer Festival, he will lead two concerts of the Berlin Philharmonic at the Großes Festspielhaus. On 29 August the programme includes works by Carl Maria von Weber, Paul Hindemith and Franz Schubert; the performance on 30 August features works by Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Sergey Prokofiev and Josef Suk.

Małgorzata Szczęśniak was declared “Set Designer of the Year”. She created the sets and costumes for Richard Strauss’ Elektra, acclaimed in 2020 by audience and critics alike. On 27 July this production, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski and conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, will be revived.

“The Opera Award is a wonderful recognition of our work and that of all the artists who make the Festival an annual event followed worldwide,” says Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser.

Since the Opera Awards were cancelled last year due to the pandemic, this year’s designation as the best festival refers to the 2019 season. For 2020, the jury decided to commend the entire cultural sector for its resilience in the face of the unexpected coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a beautiful thing to win another Opera Award. Such a distinction lends us courage and energy in times that rob us of both,” says Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler.

The Salzburg Festival received the award in the category “Best Festival” in 2013; in 2014 its production Norma was declared the “Best New Production of the Year”, and in 2017 The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès won in the “World Premiere” category.