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26 July – 30 August

For the first time a play by Thomas Bernhard received its première at the Salzburg Festival: Der Ignorant und der Wahnsinnige, performed in the Landestheater on 29 July. Yet despite previous agreements – and against the will of the author and his director, Claus Peymann – the emergency lighting was not switched off for the final scene of the play. Safety regulations were given priority over artistic import. Bernhard promptly withdrew his work after the first performance and explained his decision in a telegram to president Kaut: “A society that cannot endure two minutes of darkness can manage without my play.” The Festival speaker, Eugène Ionesco, almost seemed to have anticipated the scandal in his speech on “Culture in Danger”. More harmonious strains were heard at the concert of Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Bruckner’s Te Deum that Herbert von Karajan conducted for the 50th anniversary of the Vienna Philharmonic as the Festival’s official orchestra. Finally, a new series of lieder recitals was launched in the Grosses Festspielhaus, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig and Hermann Prey making an auspicious beginning.

1972: Thomas Bernhard in front of the Festspielhaus (© Archive of the Salzburg Festival /
Photo Karl Ellinger)

World premiere
Dieter Forte based on Jakob Bidermann
D: Werner Düggelin
Ds/Cs: Jean Tinguely

World premiere
Thomas Bernhard
Der Ignorant und der Wahnsinnige (“The Ignoramus and the Madman’)
D: Claus Peymann
Ds: Karl-Ernst Herrmann
Cs: Moidele Bickel

New production
William Shakespeare
Twelfth Night
D: Otto Schenk
Ds: Günther Schneider-Siemssen
Cs: Hill Reihs-Gromes

New production
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro
C: Herbert von Karajan
P/Ds/Cs: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Grosses Festspielhaus

New production
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Così fan tutte
C: Karl Böhm
D: Günther Rennert
Ds/Cs: Ita Maximovna
Kleines Festspielhaus

Revivals: Jedermann, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Otello, Rappresentatione di anima e di corpo, Don Pasquale, Wozzeck

16 orchestral concerts, 5 chamber concerts, 10 serenades, 6 matinées, 6 solo recitals, 5 lieder recitals, 3 church concerts, 3 chamber concerts with modern music

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,