“The Game of the Mighty” was the theme of the Salzburg Festival programme in 2009. Many operas, plays and concerts dealt with this theme. Handel, Rossini, Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn dominated the opera season – as well as Luigi Nono, whose outstanding work Al gran sole carico d’amore was presented at the Felsenreitschule and was a standard-setting success with audience and press, just like the opening production of Handel’s Theodora.
Claus Guth completed his Mozart-Da Ponte cycle with a new production of Così fan tutte in 2009, following the celebrated production of Le nozze di Figaro in 2006 and his much discussed reading of Don Giovanni in 2008.
A happy 14,000 audience members saw the scenic oratorio Theodora, about as many as Così fan tutte. There was a breathless silence at Kollegienkirche, filled to the rafters, when Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel was performed. Andrea Breth’s gorgeous dramatization of Crime and Punishment received enthusiastic applause every time. And Joyce DiDonato, the thrilling and courageous substitute for Rolando Villazón, got standing ovations. So – a grateful final applause to artists and guests.