The world's largest opera, music and theater festival returns to Salzburg

The Salzburg Festival, the world's largest opera, music and theater festival now in its 101st year, returns. July 17 to August 31, 2021.

From July 17 to August 31, 2021, Salzburg will host a new edition of its Festival, whose history began 101 years ago (the first edition was in fact held on August 22, 1920, so in 2020 the Festival celebrated its centennial). The city has always been linked to music: in fact, the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here in 1756, and the house where he was born in Getreidegasse 9 bears witness to this and is a destination for many tourists and enthusiasts who want to admire the famous building every year.

Today the Festival is among the most prestigious in the world, but its history is intertwined with famous names. The birth of the Salzburg Festival was due to the intention of continuing the centuries-old tradition of drama theater, and it was promoted by such illustrious figures as director Max Reinhardt, writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and composer Richard Strauss. The opening of the Festival in 1920 was held in the Cathedral Square with a performance of Jedermann(Everyone), but the program also saw performances of concerts and operas.

What made the Festival an international event was Herbert von Karajan, who was able to give the event a new imprint from his appointment as director until his disappearance in 1989. Thanks to him also the Great Festival Theater was built and the Easter Festival was born.

Although focused on Mozart and Strauss and respect for tradition, the Salzburg Festival is firmly rooted in the present: newer works have also been included in the repertoire in order to attract a completely new audience. It is an event where tradition and modernity meet and coexist in total harmony.

The 2021 edition of the prestigious event will feature concerts, operas and plays that, due to the pandemic, were not held in 2020. 168 performances over 46 days at 17 venues-a rich and varied program, the main events of which will be performances of the opera Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Richard Strauss’sElektra. The Jedermann, held every year in commemoration of the event’s first performance, will feature a new cast, and the Ouverture Spirituelle concerts will harken back to the original idea of the festival’s founders to stage a peace project.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will be featured in the opera program on two occasions: the Don Giovanni, this year directed by Romeo Castellucci and conducted by Teodor Currentzis, and Cosí fan tutte, which will be performed in last year’s reduced but widely acclaimed version. Richard Strauss’sElektra will also be presented.

Hugo von Hofmannsthal ’s Jedermann will have a largely new cast, led by Lars Eidinger as Jedermann and Verena Altenberger, originally from Salzburg, as his lover. The program will also feature works by Friedrich Schiller, William Shakespeare and readings of works by Charles Baudelaire and Stefan Zweig.

Then there will be concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic, Mozarteum Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, Christian Thielemann, Franz Welser-Möst, Elina Garanca, and Daniel Barenboim. Riccardo Muti will celebrate his 50th appearance at the Salzburg Festival.

Through August, the Salzburg Festival also offers a youth-oriented program with 62 events at 30 venues: special concerts and the Siemens>Kinder>Festival demonstrate the event’s intent to reach out to all generations.

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The world's largest opera, music and theater festival returns to Salzburg
The world's largest opera, music and theater festival returns to Salzburg

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