‘Tosca is a thriller’

Michael Sturminger talks about the 'thriller Tosca' (in German).

The director Michael Sturminger is currently working intensively on his forthcoming production of Tosca. And Christian Thielemann is deeply involved in preparing his opera and concert projects at the 2018 Easter Festival. From mid-December onwards, we are releasing a series of video interviews in which both men offer fascinating insights into their plans and their work (in German). They both agree: Giacomo Puccini wrote Tosca as if it were a thriller.

Michael Sturminger offers the first in our sequence of interviews. ‘Tosca is about people in extreme situations’, he explains. There’s great excitement and big emotions, but compressed into a relatively short evening at the opera. At times, he says, ‘it’s even reminiscent of a pulp novel’.


Christian Thielemann talks about his first conducting of "Tosca" many years ago

In the second film, Christian Thielemann tells a nice anecdote in which he explains how he was engaged for his first conducting of Tosca at an early stage of his career. Moreover he explains the challenges for the conductor in this opera and why it is so thrilling.

The Making of an Opera Production

Mock-up set rehearsal for Tosca. Click on the photo to see more pictures. Photo: OFS/Forster
Mock-up set rehearsal for Tosca. Click on the photo to see more pictures. Photo: OFS/Forster

Easter 2018 is approaching and therefore the preparations for Tosca, the next season's opera production, are running at full speed.

At a mock-up set rehearsal in the Grosses Festspielhaus in October, technical issues have been discussed and clarified between stage director Michael Sturminger, set and costumes designer Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser, the Easter Festival staff and technical staff of the Salzburg Festival.

We show you exclusive photos which offer insights into the making of this opera production.


2018 Salzburg Easter Festival: Tosca, Concert Highlights and a Chamber Opera

Christian Thielemann and Peter Ruzicka present the 2018 Festival programme

After the successful 2017 jubilee season, we are looking forward to the next Festival, when Puccini's masterpiece will form the centrepiece of the programme.

Tosca is one of the most popular operas of the Italian verismo. Christian Thielemann will conduct this new production. Michael Sturminger, who staged Salvatore Sciarrino’s chamber opera Lohengrin at the 2017 Festival, will direct the opera. As in the case of Lohengrin, Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser will be respobsible for the set and costumes. After her enormous success as Sieglinde in 2017, Anja Harteros will return in the title role of Tosca. Aleksandrs Antoņenko will perform the role of Cavaradossi and Ludovic Tézier will be Scarpia.

Also the concerts will again feature world-class soloists: Pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque will be the soloists in Mozart’s Double Concerto. The conductor will be Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who is much in demand all over the world, and who will be making his debut at the Easter Festival. The Herbert von Karajan Prize, endowed by Eliette von Karajan, will be awarded to sensational cellist Sol Gabetta, who will be performing Schumann’s Cello Concerto as well as chamber music by Schubert and Messiaen. The Choral Concert will feature Mahler’s Third Symphony, for which sought-after mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča will be the soloist. In the Concert for Salzburg Philippe Herreweghe will conduct Collegium Vocale Gent and the Staatskapelle Dresden in Bach’s St John Passion.

The newly established Chamber Opera series will continue with Bruno Maderna’s music theatre Satyricon.
Georg Schmiedleitner will direct, Harald Thor will design the sets and Tanja Hofmann will design the costumes.