Salzburg Festival celebrates its 100th anniversary

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Salzburg, July 24, 2020 (KAP) The Salzburg Festival (August 1 to 30) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year: On August 22, 1920, “Jedermann” was staged for the first time on the Domplatz in Salzburg, since then “Jedermann”, the death of the rich man, has been performed in front of the cathedral square, “recalls the Salzburg Archbishop Franz Lackner in a” Festival focus “in the current issue of the” Rupertusblatt “. The first performance in Austria was made possible by the commitment of “art-minded and open-minded Archbishop Ignaz Rieder”, explains Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler in a guest contribution for the weekly newspaper and the online portal of the Archdiocese of Salzburg. Lackner and Rabl-Stadler also emphasize the close cooperation between the church and the festival from the start.The Salzburg Archbishop emphasizes that the festival and its stages have always been places for reflection, reflection and self-reflection. “You are committed to the issue, which – speaking to Rilke – could be: live the question.”

The historical and geographical origin of the festival was at a time when the whole world was in danger “when the First World War raged; Europe was in danger when it was divided and divided; our country was in danger when the monarchy broke up and New things first had to be constituted, “says Lackner. Even today, the festival plays an important role “in view of the current crises in the world”. By challenging the audience, the Festival made “a contribution to reconciliation between people of different origins, orientations and beliefs” as it did then.

Salzburg instead of Innsbruck

Thanks to a cancellation from Innsbruck, the festival has been taking place in Salzburg for 100 years. The original idea of ​​the film and theater maker Max Reinhardt (1873-1943) was to stage the festival in front of a church facade in Innsbruck. The Salzburg Cathedral came into play only after the negative attitude of the Tyrolean provincial and city fathers, which caused the project to fail.

“The art-minded and open-minded Archbishop Ignaz Rieder, who ‘a good Jew like Reinhardt prefers to be a bad Christian’, granted permission at the time and also allowed Reinhardt to use the cathedral organ and the bells for the performance,” explains President Rabl- Stadler on the origin of the festival.

“Jedermann” author Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) also saw the Kollegienkirche – which is still used as a festival location – as the ideal place for his mystery play and in return promised to commission the repair work at the same time. Max Reinhardt even waived his fee and Hofmannsthal is said to have devoted half of his royalties to renovating the Kollegienkirche and the Festspielhaus parish. One third of the church renewal was financed from Hofmannsthal’s royalties, funds from the Festspielhaus parish and from government funds, said Rabl-Stadler. A tradition that is now being continued with fundraisers for church venues such as the cathedral, collegiate church and collegiate church of St. Peter.

Since its foundation 100 years ago, the Salzburg Festival has established itself as the most important festival for opera, drama and concert. Rabl-Stadler sees one reason for this in the charisma of the city of Salzburg: “In hardly any other city is the symbiosis of church and art so visible, where the magnificent baroque church buildings shape the cityscape and as silent witnesses to the long-since extinct worldly power of the Salzburg princes remember. ”

Cancellations and new format “fragments – silence”

Due to the corona, the festival will take place in abbreviated form this year: Instead of the planned 200 performances over 44 days at 16 venues, there will be 110 performances over 30 days at 8 venues.

This also affects the traditional “Overture Spiritual” and its lecture series “Disputationes”, which are not scheduled until 2021 again. The program this year would have been the theme of “Pax” and the founding mission of the Festival “as one of the first peace projects”, informed the sponsoring association of the “Disputationes Salzburg” with ex-Vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek as Spiritus Rector. The planned events will be rescheduled in July next year.

There will still be spiritual offerings this year: the “Fragmente – Stille” format will take place in the Kollegienkirche. With the newly designed “small series”, according to concert director Florian Wiegand, ensembles and artists have been given a platform whose original projects had to be modified or canceled this summer due to the requirements and restrictions. “Fragmente – Stille” will kick off on August 3rd with Emilio Pomarico and Klangforum Wien, followed by Cantando Admont under the direction of Cordula Bürgi. There are no performances in the St. Peter Collegiate Church this year.

In addition to “Jedermann”, the 2020 Festival features the opera “Elektra” by Richard Strauss, Wolfgang A. Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte”, the play “Everywoman” by Milo Rau or a Beethoven cycle.

(Info: www.disputationes.at; www.salzburgerfestspiele.at)

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