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24 July – 30 August

Die Zauberflöte production that Wilhelm Furtwängler had prepared with the painter Oskar Kokoschka for the Felsenreitschule was taken over by Georg Solti. Werner Egk’s Irische Legende ("Irish Legend") received its world premiere under the baton of George Szell, while Rudolf Kempe gave Salzburg its first hearing of Pfitzner’s Palestrina. The ballet of the Vienna State Opera presented four evenings devoted to contemporary scores: Stravinsky’s Perséphone and Honegger’s La Danse des Morts. Behind the scenes a battle raged for the successor to Furtwängler, who had dominated the Festival in its recent years. A duel soon emerged between Böhm and Karajan. Official negotiations with Karajan began in the autumn. Karajan raised far-reaching demands, wishing not only to function as a conductor but as a stage director. He also demanded the position of artistic director with full authority on all questions related to casting and programming. The Festival had never seen the like before!

1955: Painter Oskar Kokoschka, creator of the stage design for a new Zauberflöte.

New production
Friedrich Schiller
Kabale und Liebe
D: Ernst Lothar
Ds/Cs: Stefan Hlawa

Performance of Théâtre National Populaire, Paris
Don Juan
D: Jean Vilar
Ds: Léon Gischia

New production
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Die Zauberflöte
C: Georg Solti
D: Herbert Graf
Ds/Cs: Oskar Kokoschka

New production
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
C: Karl Böhm
D: Oscar Fritz Schuh
Ds/Cs: Caspar Neher

World première
Werner Egk
Irische Legende (“Irish Legend’)
C: George Szell
D: Oscar Fritz Schuh
Ds/Cs: Caspar Neher

New production
Hans Pfitzner
C: Rudolf Kempe
D: Günther Rennert
Ds/Cs: Wilhelm Reinking

Revivals: Jedermann, Ariadne auf Naxos

4 ballet performances, 6 orchestral concerts, 8 chamber concerts, 8 serenades, 5 matinées, 4 solo recitals, 1 choral concert, 1 church concert, 5 concerts of sacred music

Details of the several:

1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959,