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The Salzburg Festival, Reduced This Year, Roars Back in 2021

The Salzburg Festival, Reduced This Year, Roars Back in 2021
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The Salzburg Festival, Reduced This Year, Roars Back in 2021

The Salzburg Competition, Diminished This Yr, Roars Again in 2021

It was the nice exception in a summer season for the performing arts nearly solely scratched out by the pandemic. Its calendar decreased and its audiences distanced, however nonetheless defiantly formidable, the Salzburg Competition, classical music’s most storied annual occasion, went ahead in August with a sturdy schedule of opera, theater and live shows.

“The folks have been so glad that it occurred; they have been so dedicated to what was there to expertise,” Markus Hinterhäuser, the competition’s creative director, mentioned in an interview. “The focus, the silence, the enjoyment — I’ve by no means skilled a competition with such tenderness. It was tiring for us as a result of each nanosecond may deliver one thing, however wanting again it was extremely satisfying.”

Ticket gross sales, whereas capped at a fraction of capability, have been stronger than had been feared. And strict security protocols and frequent testing, mixed with what was then a restricted unfold of the coronavirus in Austria, appear to have labored: Helga Rabl-Stadler, the competition’s president, mentioned that an intern examined constructive shortly after arriving in July, however in any other case no constructive assessments emerged from employees, artists or audiences.

However the occasion was nonetheless a shadow of what had initially been deliberate as a jubilee celebration of the competition’s one centesimal anniversary. So the social gathering will spill over into 2021, Salzburg introduced on Thursday because it unveiled a season largely again to pre-pandemic scale and containing a number of productions postponed from the centennial slate.

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Although the competition’s leaders cautioned that their plans may change with the virus’s course, they mentioned they have been optimistic {that a} 46-day, roughly 200-performance summer season — scheduled to start on July 17 and run via August — could be doable.

The opera productions will embrace revivals of the 2 supplied this yr: Strauss’s “Elektra,” directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, and an acclaimed staging of Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte” that was deliberate and executed on extraordinarily brief discover.

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” will likely be carried out by Teodor Currentzis and directed by Romeo Castellucci; Cecilia Bartoli stars in Handel’s “Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno.” Anna Netrebko takes the title position in Puccini’s “Tosca,” and Ingo Metzmacher conducts Luigi Nono’s “Intolleranza 1960.” A Morton Feldman mini-festival culminates in a live performance efficiency of his one-act monodrama “Neither.”

The Vienna Philharmonic, lengthy the competition’s home band, will likely be featured each within the opera pit and in live performance; different orchestras embrace MusicAeterna, Mr. Currentzis’s ensemble, and the Berlin Philharmonic. The one American group scheduled to take part is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, within the twilight of Riccardo Muti’s tenure as its music director. A starry recital lineup is especially distinguished in its pianists, together with Mitsuko Uchida, Maurizio Pollini, Evgeny Kissin, Daniil Trifonov and Igor Levit. Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s morality play “Jedermann” (“Everyman”), a Salzburg signature since 1920, will open the competition on July 17.

Out of budgetary warning, there will likely be considerably extra live shows, and fewer opera and theater performances, than traditional, Ms. Rabl-Stadler mentioned. “We have been extra cautious” in planning for 2021, she added. Even when vaccines are being distributed worldwide over the approaching months, the competition has ready an alternate funds in case it’s restricted to solely two-thirds of capability in its theaters. (The total-steam model, although, anticipates a complete value of 65 million euros, or about $78.5 million.)

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However Salzburg has arrived at this level in a greater place than many performing arts establishments. The competition was in a position to promote solely about 76,000 tickets this summer season, as a substitute of its traditional 230,000. Authorities subsidies and sponsorship offers, although, have ensured it can depart 2020 and not using a deficit.

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