2019 Salzburg Easter Festival a great artistic and financial success

On 22 April, the 2019 Salzburg Easter Festival came to a close with its second performance of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. This new production, conducted by Christian Thielemann and directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog, has enjoyed great success with the audience and the international critics alike. There was immense enthusiasm in particular for Christian Thielemann’s conducting, for the performance by the Staatskapelle Dresden in the pit, and for Georg Zeppenfeld in his debut in the role of Hans Sachs. Adrian Eröd’s Beckmesser and Klaus Florian Vogt’s Stolzing were also acclaimed. Above and beyond this, there was special applause for Sebastian Kohlhepp – singing the role of David for the first time – and for Jacquelyn Wagner as Eva, Vitalij Kowaljow as Pogner and Levente Páll as Kothner.

‘Capell-Virtuoso’ Frank Peter Zimmermann gave thrilling performances, both as the violin soloist in the Orchestral Concert under Christian Thielemann and as the soloist-cum-director of the Concert for Salzburg, in which he was joined by his son Serge Zimmermann and by Antoine Tamestit.

Mariss Jansons was honoured with standing ovations when he was presented with the Herbert von Karajan Prize, and also received acclaim for the Orchestral Concert he conducted, with Regula Mühlemann as soloist. In the Choral Concert, the Bavarian Radio Chorus earned enthusiastic applause, as did conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the solo quartet comprising Venera Gimadieva, Elisabeth Kulman, Tomislav Mužek (who ‘jumped in’ at short notice) and René Pape. In the Chamber Concert with musicians from the Staatskapelle Dresden, Tobias Moretti was hailed for his performance as speaker.

The world première of the Chamber Opera Thérèse by Philipp Maintz, with Otto Katzameier (who also wrote the libretto), Marisol Montalvo, Renate Behle and Tim Severloh prompted much interest, especially among the international critics.

In tried and trusted manner, the Staatskapelle Dresden – the Orchestra in Residence of the Salzburg Easter Festival – played in almost all the events, once more proving the versatility that has been a defining characteristic of this ensemble, which is now 471 years old and possessed of a rich history. The audience’s enthusiastic response once more offered proof of the extraordinary quality that the Staatskapelle is able to offer during the intensive period of the Easter Festival.

A total of ca 18,800 tickets were sold for the 2019 Salzburg Easter Festival. In the Grosses Festspielhaus, 90,5% of all seats were filled. The première of Die Meistersinger was sold out.

The number of members of the Association of Patrons in this season was 1,750.

The Salzburg Easter Festival continues to exert great appeal to members of both the Austrian and the international media: 105 journalists from 13 countries reported on the 2019 Easter Festival.

The 2020 Salzburg Easter Festival will open on 4 April with Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Don Carlo in its four-act Italian version, with a new prologue by Manfred Trojahn.

‘In this, our seventh year at the Easter Festival, the Staatskapelle Dresden and I once again received a wonderful reception in Salzburg. Our collaboration on Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, this year’s new production at the Easter Festival, was felt by everyone to be extraordinarily harmonious. We regard ourselves as particularly fortunate to have been able to work alongside an exceptional cast of soloists including Georg Zeppenfeld, Klaus Florian Vogt, Sebastian Kohlhepp and Adrian Eröd. The great success of the opera performances has only been possible thanks to the excellent rehearsal and production conditions. The enthusiasm and unwaveringly high degree of interest on the part of the Festival audiences means we are already greatly looking forward to our next season in Salzburg’.

Christian Thielemann, Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival and Principal Conductor of the
Staatskapelle Dresden

‘The Staatkapelle Dresden can look back with delight at an extraordinarily successful residency in Salzburg in 2019! The audiences have remained as enthusiastic as ever, and the special atmosphere at the Easter Festival means we look forward to returning here every year. Outside Dresden, there is no other city where you can experience the Staatskapelle with such varied programmes in such a short space of time. Our musicians also demonstrated a special sense of commitment this year with concert formats such as On tour without tailcoat and Kapelle for Kids. This underlined impressively just how attached the orchestra feels to the citizens of this city. We should like to thank all the inhabitants of Salzburg for once again welcoming us so warmly. We are already looking forward to the next Festival in 2020’.

Jan Nast, Managing Director of the Staatskapelle Dresden    

‘Many congratulations to Christian Thielemann for this incomparable Meistersinger! And I should like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all the artists and to all those involved behind the scenes. Their great commitment has once more made it possible to offer our international audience a very special Easter Festival. Special thanks must also go to our Orchestra in Residence, the Staatskapelle Dresden, whose musical contribution was once again of the highest calibre and prompted such enthusiasm from our audience. I am also delighted that we were able to continue our Chamber Opera series with such success, thanks to the world première of Philipp Maintz’s Thérèse’.

Peter Ruzicka, Intendant and Managing Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival    

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