Austria: Salzburg Festival wants to be more open and younger

In the coming year, the Salzburg Festival will open up to new genres, works and artists.

Austria: Salzburg Festival wants to be more open and younger

In the coming year, the Salzburg Festival will open up to new genres, works and artists. With the stage adaptation of Michael Haneke's Oscar-winning drama "Love", the festival is turning to film, as director Bettina Hering announced on Friday. The story about an isolated old married couple is staged by Karin Henkel with amateur actors, among others.

Actors with cognitive disabilities from Zurich's Theater Hora will stage a version of Bertolt Brecht's "Caucasian Chalk Circle". The actors would address their view of "having children, having children and wanting children," says Hering.

New production of "Nathan the Wise"

"Time is out of joint" - This was the motto of artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser for the 2023 season, which will present 179 performances from July 20th to the end of August. The plays and operas not only revolve around current topics such as violence and flight, but also tolerance, family and social alienation. "I am still firmly convinced that it is only the great works of art that enable us to somehow read the world and open up a space for reflection," said Hinterhäuser.

The second theatrical premiere alongside the Haneke play was penned by Salzburg author Mareike Fallwickl, who was born in 1983. Jorinde Drose staged her novel "The Anger That Remains", in which a woman takes an extreme step away from the role of mother. Also on the program is Ulrich Rasche's new production of the Lessing classic "Nathan the Wise".

As every year, the focus of the festival is Hugo von Hoffmannsthal's "Jedermann". The Burgtheater actor Michael Maertens takes on the title role for the first time. Valerie Pachner plays the paramour.

Marthaler directs Verdi's "Falstaff"

In the opera program, director Krzysztof Warlikowski explores human abysses in Verdi's "Macbeth". Salzburg's festival star Asmik Grigorian will make her role debut as Lady Macbeth. Verdi's "Falstaff" in a production by Christoph Marthaler and Anna Viebrock, on the other hand, is dedicated to hedonism and escapism. And "Figaro" should be sober instead of funny, as director Martin Kušej announced on Friday. "They are lone fighters who are looking for a quick kick, for quick eroticism," he said of the protagonists of the Mozart opera.

"Figaro" will be conducted by 38-year-old Raphaël Pichon, who is considered a specialist in historical performance practice. 37-year-old Maxime Pascal, who was honored as the best young conductor in Salzburg in 2014, will conduct Bohuslav Martinu's modern opera "The Greek Passion". "It's important for us to make this generational change," said Hinterhäuser. "In a way, the festival must also think in terms of perspective."

However, the festival is also sticking with established conductors such as Teodor Currentzis. However, the artist, who was criticized for his silence on the Ukraine war, does not perform with his Russian orchestra MusicAeterna, but with his new international ensemble Utopia.

Program 2023