The Bregenzer Festspiele has announced its 2020 season, featuring a lineup of opera and vocal performances. For four weeks in summer audiences can experience monumental open-air opera productions in an unknown intensity. Running from July 22, to August 23, 2020, the festival will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with a diverse and ambitious program.
About Bregenzer Festspiele
Voralberg is a mountainous state in western Austria.and it’s capital is beautifully located at Lake Constance, Central Europe’s third largest lake. It offers a diverse cultural experience coupled with a wide range of outdoor activities. The centerpiece of the 2000 year old city at the eastern shores of Lake Constance is the bulbous, Baroque Martinsturm (St. Martin’s Tower) located in the medieval center of town. In recent years, exceptional architects like Hans Hollein, Jean Nouvel and Peter Zumthor as well as the “Vorarlberger Baukünstler” group have played an important role in shaping the city’s appearance.
Lake Constance also provides the setting for the annual Bregenzer Festspiele, a renowned summer music festival. The concerts are performed by the Vienna Symphonic Orchestra on the vast, open-air floating stage at the edge of the lake. Each summer, in the middle of an enchanting landscape in the westernmost Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, the Bregenz Festival presents high-calibre opera al fresco with the theatre on the lake. In addition, the festival attracts approximately 200,000 visitors to the border triangle between the Alps and Lake Constance with unforgettable debut opera performances and concertante treasures in the Festival House, unheard material as part of “Kunst aus der Zeit” at the studio theatre, as well as touching gems of operatic literature at the Theater am Kornmarkt in the months of July and August, with more than 80 performances in total.
The Bregenz Festival can be described as a success story that began in 1946, when it was founded. First competition of ideas for planning a Festival Hall occurred in 1955, although approval of the construction project happened not until 1974 and new construction of the Festspielhaus started in 1977/78. A long-cherished dream of the Festival management came true with the opening of the Festival and Congress Hall on 18th of July 1980, with its first orchestra concert Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (and a new Sea stage in 1979), according the design by Wilhelm Braun. The festival is simply an integral part of Bregenz. This view is shared by the many guests, who come specially for the opera performances and are then able to discover a great deal more, and the locals. Many also walk over the lake stage outside the summer months to admire the stage designs currently in construction, which are made suitable for the winter and, above all, then stand there in all their splendour.
Bregenz Festspielhaus photo by Andreas Praefcke
Bregenzer Festspiele 2020 Highlights.
Rigoletto hates his job, his boss and his colleagues. He feels trapped by his disability. He can’t get over his wife’s death. The only things that keep him going are his love for his only child Gilda and his hate for the rest of the world. But how long can he keep his child safe in the poisoned world that he has helped to create? Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece – compelling, blood-curdling and beautiful is a dark, knife-twisting tragedy. Verdi considered it his best opera.
Performance dates are as follows at Seebühne ( the floating stage)
23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st July 2020 all at 21.15h
2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd August all at 21.00h.
Arrigo Boito spent more than a half-century writing this opera, poured his whole mind and heart into it. The work is a series of scenes from Imperial Rome at the time of Emperor Nero Boito’s libretto is a remarkable piece of work that tantalizes at many philosophical and theatrical levels. Directed by Olivier Tambosi.
Performance dates are as follows at the Festspielhaus:
22nd July 2020 at 19.30h 26th July at 11.00h and 3rd August 2020 at 19.30h.
ORCHESTRAL CONCERTS featuring the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Voralberg Symphony Orchestra.
Wiener Symphoniker – with Karina Karina Canellakis
Conductor Karina Canellakis
Siegfried Brandon Jovanovich
Wanderer Greer Grimsley
Erda Nadine Weissmann
Brünnhilde Ricarda Merbeth
- Ludwig van Beethoven Leonore-Overture No. 3
- Richard Wagner Siegfried, third act
At Festpielhaus on 27 July 2020 at 19.30h
Wiener Symphoniker – with Enrique Mazzola
Conductor Enrique Mazzola
Mezzosoprano Annalisa Stroppa
- Gioachino Rossini Ouverture to Armida
- Ľubica Čekovská Palingenia — Austrian premiere
- Gioachino Rossini Giovanna d’Arco for mezzosoprano and orchestra
- Ottorino Respighi Il tramonto for mezzosoprano and string orchestra, Feste romane
At Festspielhaus on 2 August 2020 at 11.00h
Wiener Symphoniker – with Philippe Jordan
Conductor Philippe Jordan
Piano Piotr Anderszewski
- Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 C major Op.15
- Richard Strauss Don Juan Op. 20
- Richard Strauss Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), Suite Op. 59
At Festpielhaus on 10 August 2020 at 19.30h
Symphony Orchestra Voralberg – with Leo Mcfall
Violin Paweł Zalejski
Cello Mathias Johansen
Oboe Viola Wilmsen
Bassoon Heidrun Wirth-Metzler
- Ludwig van Beethoven Ouverture to Egmont op. 84
- Joseph Haydn Sinfonia concertante Hob. I:105
- Thomas Larcher Symphonie No. 3 — Austrian premiere
At Festpielhaus on 23 August 2020 at 11.00h.
In addition to the highlights above the festival also features three shows at the Kornmarkt. The first is a new opera from composer Ľubica Čekovská titled Impresario Dotcom. (24 & 25 July) It will be directed by Elisabeth Stöppler.The second programme at Kornmarkt is Beethoven goes Africa, a concert featuring theatre and puppetry. Bochabela String Orchestra & Friends will perform works by Soweto String Quartet, Mango Groove, Zuko Samela and of course Beethoven (30 July). Finally, the Kornmarkt programme is completed by Bregenz Opera Studio’s staging of Joseph Haydn’s Armida. ( 17 Aug). This is a really exciting and impressive programme to 2020!
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