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Festival Opening Party • Celebrate with Us!

10 JUL 2015

published in: General


For 36 years, the Festival Opening Party has been a traditional institution, a fixed date in the Salzburg calendar – and this year, Salzburg’s most atmospheric stages will provide an especially varied and intense programme on the first Festival day. Joseph Haydn’s Creation marking the beginning of the Festival and launching the Ouverture spirituelle has become a beloved tradition over the past years. Marc Minkowski conducts the work at 7:30 pm at the Großes Festspielhaus.
The premiere of Jedermann on Sunday, July 19, allows us to integrate the Torch Dance – attracting visitors from far beyond the borders of Salzburg – into the events of July 18, providing one of the Party’s highlights once again (from 9 pm onwards | Residenzplatz).

Dramaturgical Connections with the Ouverture spirituelle
Our declared goal is to create multiple references to the Festival programme: thus, the Festival opens a rehearsal of the Coro della Radiotelevisione Svizzera, Lugano, under the baton of Diego Fasolis for its concert with works by Palestrina (8 pm | Kollegienkirche).
At the Salzburg Cathedral, János Czifra conducts the Salzburg Cathedral Choir, the Cathedral Choir Fribourg and the Darmstädter Kantorei. Together with the orchestra of the Cathedral, they present Franz Schubert’s Grand Mass in E-flat Major (6 pm | Salzburg Cathedral). Several works central to Schubert’s oeuvre can be heard at the Festival on July 24, 25 and 26.
The Stiftsmusik St. Peter (Orchestra of St. Peter’s) performs the most beautiful arias and choruses from Handel’s Messiah under the baton of Armin Kircher (4 pm | Stiftskirche von St. Peter).
The Schwanthaler Trompetenconsort, a consort of trumpets, offers festive sounds by Mozart and Salieri, Biber and Starzer at Hof Wolf Dietrichsruh (4:45 pm).
The Hindu focus of the Festival programme is also reflected in the entertaining side of the Party, when k3 Goes India (featuring the conductor of the Ensemble 013, Robert Kainar) and Georg Gratzer& Amridan mix jazz, electronics, world music and dance with Indian music.

Contemporary Elements of the Party
We are particularly pleased that Peter Konwitschny joins stage and costume designer Johannes Leiacker in introducing the new production of Wolfgang Rihm’s musical theatre work Die Eroberung von Mexico (11:30 am | Felsenreitschule).
Wolfgang Rihm’s work is also the focus of the concert of the International Mozarteum Summer Academy (6 pm | Solitär).
The oeuvre of Pierre Boulez is the focus of the concerts by oenm (2 pm and 4 pm | Kuenburgpalais) and by the Intakt Quartet, which features the intriguing combination of two pianists and two percussionists (2:30 pm | republic). The ensemble is directed by Andreas Steiner, whose Salzburg Orchestra Soloists take on the orchestra part of The Barber of Seville for Children.
Another genre, but no less contemporary is the concert by the Harmonica Quartet Austria, which also features classical highlights and folk music. On their instruments, the silver medallists in the world championships sound like an entire orchestra.

Festival Artists and Topics
Peter Konwitschny is not the only one to grace the Party with his presence; several other Festival artists also present special programmes:
The Young Singers Project opens a master class with Kammersängerin Christa Ludwig to the public (3 pm and 4:30 pm | Main Auditorium of the University).
The Salzburg Festival and Theatre Children’s Chorus meets the Children’s Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin at the same venue (11 am). 
A group of protagonists of our Jedermann production will use their rehearsal-free day before the premiere to perform at the Party: Cornelius Obonya & Die Österreichischen Salonisten present cheerful and satirical works by Robert Gernhardt.

No less than four performers have banded together to perform a programme entitled Lady Shakespeare: Katharina Stemberger, Tamzin Griffin, Stephan Kreiss and Hannes Flaschberger have assembled a comedy programme especially for the Party, directed by Angelika Messner (5:30 pm and 7:30 pm | Markussaal).


Just across the street, Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane perform. Both of them are not only involved in Jedermann and Mackie Messer, but show their first joint puppet theatre production Birdheart (2 pm and 3:15 pm | Kavernen 1595).

All those who remember the impressive music of last year’s production Die letzten Tage der Menschheit will look forward to the creative brain of Matthias Jakisic in a solo concert (9 pm | Hof Wolf Dietrichsruh).

On July 22, Matthias Bartolomey performs as the solo cellist with Concentus Musicus Wien; at the Party, he joins violinist and mandola player Klemens Bittmann for a duo that takes these instruments, rooted in the classical musical tradition, onto new paths (4:15 pm | Mozartplatz).

The production of costumes, shoes and wigs in the Salzburg Festival workshops is usually hidden from the audience’s eyes. The craftsmanship behind these arts are made visible by the Leica photographers Alberto Venzago and Lisa Kutzelnig. These insights are presented in an exhibition inside the entrance foyer of the Großes Festspielhaus. You are cordially invited to its opening! (11 am.)

The premiere of Beethoven’s Fidelio on August 4 is celebrated in advance with two envelopes, two postage stamps and a special stamp. These sought-after collector’s items can be purchased as part of the Party at the Mirabell Palace (1 pm | Marble Stairway).

Literary Events

Three productions are dedicated to the poet and writer Bertolt Brecht, whose Threepenny Opera will be performed in a special Salzburg version entitled Mackie Messer on August 11: 
Kammerschauspielerin Elisabeth Orth reads selected Brecht poems (5 pm | Edmundsburg, Europasaal).
Jürgen Tarrach, who plays the role of Mammon in Jedermann, assembles songs, poems and stories by Bert Brecht. Together with pianist Ingvo Clauder, the actor presents these at republic (5:30 pm).
Did you know there was an adaptation of the Threepenny Opera by a Nigerian author? Nick Monu will read from this Opera Wonyosi by the Nobel Prize winner for literature, Wole Soyinka, at Galerie matombo (11:30 am).
Kammerschauspieler Joachim Bißmeier pays homage to Stefan Zweig’s Schachnovelle at the Edmundsburg’s Europasaal.

Keyboard Instruments

Keyboard instruments occupy a special position in the programme on July 18: apart from the Intakt Quartet, Wolfgang Brunner and Heidelore Schauer will perform works by Mozart, Ortiz, Cage and Wolfgang Brunner himself on the pianoforte and hammered dulcimer (6 pm and 8 pm | Kuenburgpalais).

As part of the exhibition Piano Pieces at the Salzburg Museum, award-winners of international piano competitions and Christian Bauschke will demonstrate the sound of historical instruments as part of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy.

During a concert on the “Propter Homines” organ at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation, participants in Prof. Hannfried Lucke’s master class, part of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy, will show off their abilities (7:30 pm). 

Virtuoso piano playing and humorous texts await the audience at the Romanischer Saal, where Michael Weingartmann and Margarita Ruprecht perform together (10:30 am and 12:30 pm).

Salzburg – Where the Party Happens

The success of the Party depends heavily on the involvement of local artists. Thus, we thank the Salzburg State Wind Band, Theater Harlekin, the Salzburg Puppet Theatre, the Toy Museum and the Salzburg Museum, all of whom are continuing their many years of cooperation in a series of concerts, guided tours and theatre performances.
We are particularly pleased that the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Rupertinum offers two guided tours of the museum:

One of them features the exhibition Life? Or Theatre? On Charlotte Salomon, which makes reference to last year’s Festival opera programme.

The other takes visitors through the Residenzgalerie, part of DomQuartier, where an exhibition put together in cooperation with the Salzburg Festival features The Paramour’s Dresses. 

A sad event, however, is the farewell of Klaus Gmeiner after 30 successful productions of the Salzburg Street Theatre. This alone is a reason not to miss the performance of Lumpazivagabundus (7 pm | Inner Courtyard of St. Peter’s).

Based in Hallein, Christa Hassfurther’s group bodi end sole explores the life and family of Ludwig Wittgenstein (5:30 pm | Kavernen 1595).
The same venue hosts a screening of the film Saudade – Rendezvous in Brazil, about the eventful life of the composer Sigismund Neukomm, almost forgotten in his native Salzburg. Sven-Eric Bechtolf is the narrator (9 pm).

From the traditional to the experimental, Salzburger Nockerl meets Ziach Fever, the regional choir Gauverbandschor, the a-cappella group Avocalo and the yodel group JodlerKlang have something for every musical palate. Folk dancing is also well represented, whether at Mit.Einander, the Dance around the Fountain, the Salzburg Traditional Marksmen’s Association or the Salzburg Torch Dance – the traditions are plentiful and entertaining! 


Free tickets will be distributed starting on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 9:30 am at the SHOP • KARTEN/TICKETS of the Salzburg Festival, Hofstallgasse 1 (opening hours: Mon-Sat 9:30 am to 5 pm). Tickets are limited to two per person per event; free tickets are only required for the events marked in the folder.