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27 July – 31 August

The beginning of the era of the new artistic director could not have been better: “Peter Ruzicka succeeded right from the start in presenting a Don Giovanni that his predecessor Gerard Mortier would indeed have liked to do”, wrote the daily Der Standard about the opening premiere which was conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt and directed by Martin Kusej. The performance was a triumph for Anna Netrebko, who in the role of Donna Anna won the hearts and admiration of audiences. Zemlinsky’s Der König Kandaules in the interpretation by Kent Nagano and Christine Mielitz and for which sculptor Alfred Hrdlicka created the sets and costumes was a similar success. On the other hand the productions of Die Liebe der Danae by Strauss and Puccini’s Turandot in the version by Luciano Berio were given a mixed reception. For the first time in thirty years there was a really new production of Jedermann. Stage director Christian Stückl assembled a star cast with Peter Simonischek in the title role, Veronica Ferres as the Paramour, Tobias Moretti as the Devil and Good Companion and Jens Harzer in the role of death. Andrea Breth’s version of Schnitzler’s Das weite Land (The Undiscovered Country) was highly acclaimed; the world premiere of Peter Turrini’s Da Ponte in Santa Fe on the other hand was slated. Jürgen Flimm as head of drama introduced a new idea, the Young Directors Project, a competition for young stage directors. Frédéric Fisbach, who staged Jean Genet’s Les Paravents was the winner. The series Guest Writer was continued with the lyricist and satirist Robert Gernhardt.

Details of the several years:

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,