Peter Alward, former Intendant until the end of last month, was awarded the Ring of the City of Salzburg by mayor Heinz Schaden on 9 July 2015 for his great service to the Salzburg Easter Festival. Among the guests of the ceremony were Helga Rabl-Stadler, President of the Salzburg Festival, Markus Hinterhäuser, designated Intendant of the Salzburg Festival, and actress Isabel Karajan. Congratulations!
Prof. Dr. Peter Ruzicka took over the directorship of the Salzburg Easter Festival on 1 July 2015. Another returnee - like Peter Ruzicka himself - has been appointed new artistic consultant of the festival: Josef Hussek, who had worked as the head of the artistic planning of the Salzburg Festival during Ruzickas era.
Take a look into the programme brochure:
Christian Thielemann will conduct the new production of Verdis Otello. The renowned opera director Vincent Boussard will be responsible for the staging and Vincent Lemaire for the sets. They have already worked together elsewhere, including for productions of Rise and fall of the city of Mahagonny at the Berlin State Opera and Madama Butterfly and La fanciulla del West at the Hamburg State Opera. The costumes will be designed by Christian Lacroix, one of the worlds best known fashion designers, who in recent years has also made a name for himself as a costume designer. Johan Botha, one of the outstanding heldentenors of our time will perform the title role. Dorothea Röschmann, a soprano who enjoys international success, will sing Desdemona. Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky will perform the role of Iago. Benjamin Bernheim (Cassio), Christa Mayer (Emilia), Georg Zeppenfeld (Lodovico), Bror Magnus Tødenes (Rodrigo), Csaba Szegedi (Montano) and Gordon Bintner (Araldo) round out the line-up of top-class soloists.
Vladimir Jurowski is the Guest Conductor
Vladimir Jurowski, the Chief Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, ist the guest conductor at the 2016 Salzburg Easter Festival. He will be partnered in Beethovens Piano Concerto No. 1 by Rudolf Buchbinder, one of todays leading pianists. Anne-Sophie Mutter, one of the most successful violinists of our time, will perform Beethovens Triple Concerto together with the cellist Lynn Harrell and the pianist Yefim Bronfman under the baton of Christian Thielemann. The choral concert will also be conducted by Christian Thielemann. The Bavarian Radio will sing Beethovens Missa solemnis; the soloists will be Krassimira Stoyanova, Christa Mayer, Daniel Behle and Georg Zeppenfeld.
Sacred Music in the Concert for Salzburg
Religious music also comes to the fore in the Concert for Salzburg in 2016. The original version of Bachs Mass in b minor will be heard alongside Carl Maria von Webers Missa sancta - two works that were composed for the Dresden court ensemble, the then Hofkapelle, which exists to this day under the name Staatskapelle Dresden. The soloists Anna Lucia Richter, Christa Mayer, Peter Galliard and Georg Zeppenfeld will be joined by the Dresden Kreuzchor under its Kantor, Roderich Kreile. This will be the first-ever guest performance by the Kreuzchor at the Easter Festival.
World Premiere: Four Women from Shakespeare
The Salzburg Easter Festival has commissioned a new work for soprano and chamber ensemble from the German composer Manfred Trojahn. It will be performed in two chamber music programmes at the 2016 Salzburg Easter Festival. The soprano Juliane Banse will give the world premiere of this new work on 22 March 2016, accompanied by musicians of the Staatskapelle Dresden under the direction of the composer. Trojahn has written the following about his new piece: I first became fascinated by Shakespeares characters when I wrote my opera As You Like It for the Bavarian State Opera in 1998. That fascination has never left me since, and so in this new work I have endeavoured once again to approach the women characters in Shakespeare whom I particularly love. In this work, very different, contrasting characters come together in the smallest possible space. This demands an incredible degree of adaptability from the singer performing the work. Titanias monologue from the Midsummer Nights Dream [...], Juliets encounter with Romeo in which she tenderly, bashfully but very decidedly declares her love [...], traumatised Ophelia, and finally [...] Lady Macbeth, who exudes an incantatory air in her self-obsessive bloodlust. The ensemble chosen to accompany the singer comprises flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, which allows me the colours necessary to describe the different nuances of the four characters.
Additional, Accompanying Events
Besides continuing Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitzs popular introductory lectures to the opera production, in 2016 a new, additional event will be on offer: an overview of the Otello discography, by and with the renowned music journalist and author Jürgen Kesting.
Patrons of the Easter Festival will be given complimentary tickets for the introductory lectures and the discographic overview; the remaining tickets will be on sale from 1 December 2015 onwards at a price of 20.-