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24 July – 30 August

After a long hiatus the Festival again presented the world première of an opera: Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids, given in the Grosses Festspielhaus under the aegis of Christoph von Dohnányi and Gustav Rudolf Sellner. “At last Richard Strauss has found his successor", exclaimed Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper. Henze himself preferred the words of an English critic: “Strauss turned sour”. This summer Herbert von Karajan turned his attention to Bizet’s Carmen, which was given at the Festival for the first time with Grace Bumbry and Jon Vickers in the main roles. In spoken theatre the main focus fell on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a production by Faust director Leopold Lindtberg. The opening speaker was the architect and stage designer Clemens Holzmeister, who held forth on the Festival’s architecture.

1966: Composer Hans Werner Henze (right) and conductor Christoph von Dohnányi preparing the première of The Bassarids.

New production
William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night's Dream
D: Leopold Lindtberg
Ds/Cs: Jörg Zimmermann

New production
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro
C: Karl Böhm
D: Günther Rennert
Ds/Cs: Rudolf Heinrich
Kleines Festspielhaus

New production
Georges Bizet
C/D: Herbert von Karajan
Ds: Teo Otto
Cs: Georges Wakhevitch
Grosses Festspielhausv

World premiere
Hans Werner Henze
The Bassarids
C: Christoph von Dohnányi
D: Gustav Rudolf Sellner
Ds/Cs: Filippo Sanjust
Grosses Festspielhaus

Revivals: Jedermann, La finta giardiniera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Boris Godunow

2 ballet performances, 11 orchestral concerts,
8 serenades, 5 matinées, 4 chamber concerts, 6 lieder recitals, 5 solo recitals, 3 concerts of sacred music, 1 church concert, 1 choral concert, 1 public reading

Details of the several years:

1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,