Successful 2016 Season of the Salzburg Easter Festival

28 March 2016 saw the close of the fourth season of the Salzburg Easter Festival under the Artistic Direction of Christian Thielemann with the Staatskapelle Dresden as Orchestra in Residence. The Festival programme focussed on compositions inspired by William Shakespeare. At the heart of the programme was a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Otello directed by Vincent Boussard and under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann. José Cura sang the role of Otello, Dorothea Röschmann was Desdemona and Carlos Álvarez was Iago, and together with the rest of the ensemble and the chorus their performances were highly acclaimed. The costumes by Christian Lacroix afforded a striking, colourful aspect to the characters against the backdrop of Vincent Lemaire’s abstract stage sets. Christian Thielemann’s Verdi interpretation was praised by the Süddeutsche Zeitung for its “impressively modern sound”. And Die Presse wrote that “Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden offer undreamt-of, thrilling details in Verdi’s ‘Otello’, which the director presents as a timeless psychogram”.

A total of 17,000 tickets were sold for the 2016 Salzburg Easter Festival, which corresponds to a capacity of 91%. The opera premiere, the orchestra concerts with Christian Thielemann, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lynn Harrell and Yefim Bronfman, and the Concert for Salzburg were all sold out. The number of members of the Association of Patrons in the 2016 season was 1,900.

The interest in the Salzburg Easter Festival is very high among the international media: 65 journalists from ten countries reported on the Festival this year.

Next year, the Salzburg Easter Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary and will open on 8 April 2017 with the premiere of a “re-creation” of the Walküre production from 1967.

Christian Thielemann, the Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival, has taken stock of the Festival as follows:
“I am very happy as I look back on the past three weeks. I would like to thank all those who participated, but also all those colleagues who worked behind the scenes and played their part in the success of the Easter Festival. I would like to emphasize the role played by the Saxon State Opera Chorus, Dresden, and the musicians of the Staatskapelle. One can hardly sum up in words what the orchestra has achieved here. To work with this orchestra is both a motivation and a fulfilment at one and the same time. We are already full of anticipation for the jubilee year of 2017”.

Peter Ruzicka, the Managing Director and Intendant of the Salzburg Easter Festival, sums up as follows:
“We can look back with great satisfaction on a successful season. I would like to express my warm thanks to all those who contributed to this success: to everyone behind the scenes, on the stage and in the orchestra pit. My special thanks go to Christian Thielemann and the Staatskapelle Dresden, who form the artistic foundation of the Salzburg Easter Festival. We are looking forward with great anticipation to our jubilee season in the coming year, and are thrilled to report that there is already a very great demand for tickets”.

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