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Huge Success of the 2018 Salzburg Easter Festival
Source: Salzburg Easter Festival

With the second performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca on 2 April, the 2018 Salzburg Easter Festival draws to a close. This first season since its 50th anniversary has again brought many music lovers and opera buffs from all over the world to Salzburg, and at the same time has also attracted a large local audience.

Tosca enjoyed a great success in the Grosses Festspielhaus in its production by Michael Sturminger, conducted by Christian Thielemann. Anja Harteros was acclaimed by audiences and critics alike for her interpretation of the title role. Aleksandrs Antoņenko (and Hector Sandoval in the second performance) as Cavaradossi and Ludovic Tézier as Scarpia were hailed for their performances. The second scenic production of the Festival, the chamber opera Satyricon by Bruno Maderna, attracted wide interest and much enthusiasm in its production by Georg Schmiedleitner under the musical direction of Peter Tilling. Our Artist in Residence Sol Gabetta performed in the Orchestral Concert under Christian Thielemann and in the Chamber Concerts, and was received with great affection when she was presented with the Herbert von Karajan Prize by Eliette von Karajan. The soloists Elīna Garanča in Mahler’s Third Symphony and the piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque in Mozart’s Double Concerto offered performances that thrilled their audiences, as did our guest conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada, who just a few days earlier had been elected as the next Chief Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker. In the Concert for Salzburg, Bach’s St John Passion under Philippe Herreweghe brought a spiritual dimension to the programme. In time-honoured fashion, the majority of the performances featured the Salzburg Easter Festival’s Orchestra in Residence, the Staatskapelle Dresden.

A total of ca 19,000 tickets were sold for the 2018 Easter Festival. In the Grosses Festspielhaus, ca 93% of all seats were filled. The première of Tosca, the Concert for Salzburg and the Choral Concert on Good Friday were all sold out. The number of members of the Association of Patrons in this season was ca 1,800.

Interest in the Salzburg Easter Festival remains very high among the international media: 101 journalists from eleven countries reported on the 2018 Easter Festival.

The next Salzburg Easter Festival will open on 13 April 2019 with Richard Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, directed by Jens-Daniel Herzog and conducted by Christian Thielemann. An exceptional cast of singers will be performing, including Georg Zeppenfeld, Vitalij Kowaljow, Adrian Eröd and Klaus Florian Vogt.

‘Five years have now passed since our first Easter Festival in 2013. We always look forward to the weeks we spend in Salzburg, because the atmosphere during our preparations and throughout the Festival itself is something very special. We would like to thank our colleagues for their warm, collegial welcome in Salzburg! Our collaboration with Michael Sturminger and his team for this year’s production of Tosca proceeded in a spirit of great harmony, and ultimately led to results with which we are all delighted. The fact that we will be performing one of my favourite Wagner operas in 2019 – Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg – makes me look forward all the more to our next residency in Salzburg’.

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

‘In this, the sixth year at the Salzburg Easter Festival for the Staatskapelle Dresden and our Chief Conductor Christian Thielemann, the enthusiasm of both orchestra and audiences alike remains unwavering. Our musicians feel utterly at home in Salzburg, and to underline their affinity for the city they have now added the pub-concert series On tour without tailcoat to their programme, alongside the existing concerts designed especially for the Salzburg public such as the Concert for Salzburg and the Kapelle for Kids. The Easter Festival has become an indispensable component of the Staatskapelle Dresden’s artistic endeavours. We are very much looking forward to our future plans in Salzburg’.

Jan Nast, Managing Director of the Staatskapelle Dresden

‘We are delighted that we have again succeeded in gathering an international audience in Salzburg, while at the same time reaching out to a large local audience. Besides Tosca, which was scenically and musically an all-round success, and besides our wonderful concerts, I am especially happy that the chamber opera Satyricon also generated so much interest, and that we have in this manner been able to further consolidate our music theatre track for works of the 20th and 21st centuries. I should like to offer my warm thanks to everyone who has made a contribution to the success of the 2018 Easter Festival, whether on the podium or behind the scenes, and most of all to our Artistic Director Christian Thielemann and our fantastic Orchestra in Residence, the Staatskapelle Dresden’. 

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

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