Salzburg Festival

The Salzburg Festival is considered one of the world's most important festivals of music and the performing arts. They take place in July and August for five to six weeks in Salzburg since 1920 every summer. Hallmark of the Festival is the Everyman in the Cathedral Square, exemplary Mozart and Strauss performances, as well as a diverse and high-caliber drama, opera and concert program. Every year more than 200 events attended by more than 250,000 guests.

Director of the Salzburg Festival, Alexander Pereira.


In the initial phase of the festival director and theater manager Max Reinhardt played a leading role. He explained the whole city to the stage and staged in the cathedral square, the medieval mystery play of Everyman in a textual revision by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The premiere on August 22, 1920 marked the birth of the Festival, the piece stands since 1926 - except for the Nazi period 1938-1945 - throughout the game plan of the festival. Reinhardt discovered and opened the Collegiate Church, the Leopoldskron Castle, the Winter Riding School, and finally the Summer Riding School as venues of the festival. Winter and summer riding school was rebuilt several times and now serve - as the House for Mozart and Rock Riding School - mainly of opera and the concert.

In addition to the Iffland Ring the main role in everyone is the largest award for an actor in Germany. It is mostly staffed with experienced theater actors who have proven themselves in traditional roles. In the Max Reinhardt 's production ( 1920-1937 ) of the bon vivant of Alexander Moissi, Paul Hartmann and Attila Hörbiger was embodied. In the postwar years Ewald Balser embodied, in turn, Attila Hörbiger, Will Quadflieg, Walther Reyer and Ernst Schröder the lead role, before beginning in 1973 with Curd Jürgens, Maximilian Schell and Klaus Maria Brandauer internationally known film actors came into play. Since the 1990s, everyone is again mainly embodied by stage actors - Helmut Lohner, Gert Voss, Ulrich Tukur, Peter Simonischek, Nicholas Ofczarek and since 2013 Cornelius Obonya. The role of the Paramour - with very little text, but maximum visibility - was often occupied with popular television and movie stars, such as Nadja Tiller, Christiane Hörbiger, Nicole Heesters, Senta Berger, Marthe Keller, Sophie Rois or Veronica Ferres.

True to the motto of the founder Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Max Reinhardt - " of all the Highest " - the spectacle in Salzburg from the start was set to already approved works of the stage performance. Hofmannsthal itself was in Salzburg with his Everyman ( and with his libretti for Strauss 's operas ) highly successful, but otherwise unfortunate. The written specifically for the Festival Salzburg great world theater was not listed after 1925, even the comedy about the soul needs of the bourgeoisie shortly before the demise of the dual monarchy - The Difficult of 1910 - not established permanently in the Salzburg game plans. They played there Goldoni and Moliere, almost all of Shakespeare, dramas of antiquity, Heinrich von Kleist and Weimar Classicism, folk plays of Nestroy and Raimund, in some cases Ibsen and Schnitzler. As the festival par excellence - in addition to everyone - there must be the Midsummer Night's Dream, preferably with Mendelssohn's incidental music.

While premieres were common in the opera in Salzburg already immediately after the Second World War, lasted much longer connection to the presence in the theater. In the late 1950's Oscar Fritz Schuh presented three contemporary plays, including an unsuccessful premiere Fritz high Waelder. In the 1960s, the European studio tried contemporary dramas in Salzburg imagine, in the 1970s and 1980s it was at least five world premieres of Thomas Bernhard pieces, propagated by Josef Kaut, the cosmopolitan president of the festival. Once in the presence of Salzburg is only during the era Mortier / stone, which opened another venue with Perner Island in Hallein and timely directors invited, as well as in the episode of the Young Directors Project, which in 2002 by Jürgen Flimm to life was called.


The opera productions at the Salzburg Festival were for much of the 20th century, and are still influential. The opera is in Salzburg - as a Gesamtkunstwerk - the primus inter pares in the Triassic drama, opera and concert corner shows world's leading conductors - with the exception of Sergiu Celibidache and Carlos Kleiber - have worked in Salzburg, as well as most of the most outstanding singers, directors, set and costume designer. Many of the performances are obtained as audio or television recordings for posterity.

The Salzburg emphasis throughout on the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss, to contemporary works, as well as the festival opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Fidelio, Don Carlos and Falstaff. The Mozart repertoire is limited in Salzburg not on the three Da Ponte operas, the Abduction from the Seraglio and The Magic Flute, but also includes the rarely played works. The first opera performance of the festival was the Don Giovanni under the baton of Richard Strauss on 14 August 1922 - a guest performance at the Vienna State Opera in Salzburg State Theater. Thanks to the Vienna Philharmonic playing in Salzburg every year in four to five opera productions, are the interpretations of Mozart and Strauss operas of exceptional orchestral quality.

The Salzburg repertoire was - first by Bruno Walter, Arturo Toscanini and Karl Böhm, finally, by Herbert von Karajan - gradually expanded: Walter made ​​his debut at the Salzburg Festival operas of Richard Wagner and Hugo Wolf, Gluck and Donizetti. Toscanini Falstaff established in 1935 as a genuine Salzburg Festival Opera. Boehm introduced in 1951 and 1971, Alban Berg 's opera Wozzeck then hardly played, thus an exponent of the twelve-tone technique. Karajan eventually popularized with a wide range of other Verdi operas, Puccini's Tosca and Bizet's Carmen with the program.

The early works of the opera and the Baroque have quite early found their place in Salzburg Schedule. Gluck is listed in Salzburg since 1930 and since 1984 Handel scenic. In the years 1968 to 1973, Cavalieri enjoyed rarely played rappresentazione di anima et di Corpo in a model 's production of Graf / Colosanti / Moore highest public interest. 1971, 1985 and 1993 all thanked Monteverdi operas were presented in Salzburg.

Over time, have the Salzburg Festival with virtually every major opera houses in the world ( Vienna State Opera, La Scala, La Fenice, Opéra de la Bastille, La Monnaie, Met, Mariinsky Theatre) and some important festivals ( Aix -en- Provence, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino) cooperates. In most cases, these co - productions were developed in Salzburg and were often too many years later at major opera houses look like Robert Wilson's exemplary Pelléas et Mélisande -enactment of 1997, which co-produced with the Opera de Paris and still in year was performed in 2012 in Madrid and Barcelona.


The concerts of the Salzburg Festival since 1921 provide an important pillar of the festival dar. Initiated by Bernhard Paumgartner, later president of the festival, were then four orchestral concerts, three chamber concerts, a serenade and a concert of sacred music instead. Since 1925 also recitals, also organized solo concerts since 1926. Since 1949, the Mozart - Martineen include the Mozarteum since 1950 and Mozart's C minor Mass in the Abbey Church of St. Peter at fixed points of the festival, both in turn initiated by Bernhard Paumgartner.

Central are the big orchestral concerts, often with choirs and vocal soloists. The Vienna Philharmonic contest since 1922, the majority of orchestral concerts each year and also open up the concert program. An important characteristic of the Salzburg Festival is the quality in conductors and soloists. Since the late 1950s, guesting regularly the best orchestras from all over Europe, North and South America, Israel and Japan in Salzburg, first the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, after all other well-known orchestras in the world. Currently, in a summer between ten and fifteen Orchestra in Salzburg heard, including leading youth orchestras, chamber orchestras and Baroque Ensemble, as well as specialized in contemporary music orchestras and musicians associations.

In 2012, Alexander Pereira has the overture spiritual reasons, a series of concerts of sacred music from different denominations as the warmup to the actual festival. 2013 toured the Venezuelan El Sistema music project with four orchestras, a brass ensemble, two choirs and a string quartet in Salzburg, El Sistema has performed at the opening ceremony, in ten concerts and a children's concert rehearsal. 2013 all Mahler's symphonies were performed in 2014, all nine symphonies of Bruckner on the program.


After the plans for a Festival Hall on Monk's Mountain (1890) and in Hellbrunn ( 1919) had failed, the Salzburg Festival, the early years took the existing squares, palaces, churches, theaters and concert building owned: At Cathedral Square is listed annually Hofmannsthal's Everyman, at the Mozarteum and the property's courtyard concerts are held, listed operas and talk pieces in the National Theatre. Also three Salzburg Baroque churches were opened as venues for the festival: the Cathedral, Collegiate Church and Collegiate Church of St Peter. When finally the desire to own venues became necessary, gradually three festival houses could be built on the site of the former prince- royal stables and riding schools:

  • A provisional Festspielhaus (1925 ), first set up for the spectacle, then also for opera and concert, as the House for Mozart was only after numerous conversions in 2006, its final shape - with 1,495 seats and 85 standing places,
  • The Summer Riding School (1926 ), first recorded by Max Reinhardt and also adapted several times until 2011 - with 1,412 seats and 25 standing passengers, and
  • The Great Festival Hall (1960 ), a built by Clemens Holzmeister panoramic platform with a portal width of 32 meters and 2,179 seats.

The expansion of the festival from the 1990s meant that more venues had to be found for the spectacle: 1992 Old Salt on Perner Island in Hallein, finally the republic (the former city theater ), the Schauspielhaus Salzburg and the Salzburg Ice Arena.

Other festivals in Salzburg

In addition to the Summer Festival consist of:

  • The Mozart Festival, founded in 1956, which is organized by the Mozarteum Foundation every year in winter.
  • Founded in 1967 Salzburg Easter Festival, are financially and organizationally independent.
  • Founded in 1973 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, who are financially and organizationally since 1998 part of the Summer Festival.
  • The festival was founded in 2006 dialogues that confronts every year takes classical and modern together.
  • The festival was founded in 2007 Salzburg Biennale, a biennial held in March -find for New Music.