Salzburg Festival 2018: a flop and many great moments

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Salzburg Festival 2018: a flop and many great moments

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Asmik Grigorian delighted the audience in Salzburg. Photo: Barbara Gindl

Source: dpa-infocom GmbH

With a performance by superstar Anna Netrebko, the Salzburg Festival will be over in a few days. The artistic leader Markus Hinterhäuser again managed an exciting program with a few mistakes. A balance.

Salzburg (dpa) – Real Sternstunden are rare, even at a high-level festival like the Salzburg Festival. But this time the audience and the critics agreed: the new production of Richard Strauss & opera "Salome" in Romeo Castellucci was the event of the festival season, which ended on August 30th.

Especially the vocal furore of the Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian in the title role, which is regarded as one of the heaviest in the opera literature, caused enthusiasm. How commercially successful these festivals should be announced on Tuesday (August 28) at the closing conference.

Some commentators whispered that Grigorian had repeated the triumph of a certain Anna Netrebko, who in 2002 caused a sensation on her debut in Salzburg as Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Since then, the Russian has become an integral part of Salzburg. This year, however, she was not seen in a new opera production. At the end of the festival, however, she will hold a duo evening with Italian opera tears, together with her husband, tenor Yusif Eyvazov.

Salzburg 2018 – this was a festival of strong women. Whether it was the magnificent, already 75-year-old Hanna Schwarz, who had a celebrated performance in Peter Tchaikovsky's "Queen of Spades", or Kate Lindsey and Sonya Yoncheva as Nerone and Poppea in "L & # 39; incoronazione di Poppea "by Claudio Monteverdi. In the play, the brutal Sophie Rois shone in the six-hour staging of Knut Hamsun's novel "Hunger" and Valery Tscheplanova in the new production of the ancient drama "The Persians" by Aeschylus in Ulrich Rasche's Ears and Sense-stunning mega-machine theater.

Almost universally regarded as a flop by critics, Lydia Steier's overloaded and somewhat old-fashioned interpretation of Mozart's Magic Flute & # 39; the opera program. This was also due to the sometimes seemingly arbitrary conducting of Constantinos Carydis and the miscast of the bass role of Sarastro with the baritone and song singer Michael Goerne.

Everything else wore at least the stamp "worth it": the former director-berserk Hans Neuenfels had forgotten a former theater scandal with a classic old masters-look at the "spade woman"; The Belgian dance artist Jan Lauwers touched on with an idiosyncratic and moving dance theater version of Monteverdi's "L & # 39; incoronazione" and the Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski with his finely sculpted, psychologizing view of the opera "The Bassarids" by Hans Werner Henze .

From all control it appeared that the time of Holzhammer-Polit-Staging seems to be over. Nowadays social criticism hides in more or less subtle literary allusions. Warlikowski & # 39; s "Bassarids" draws parallels between the fascist glorification of violence in Pier Paolo Pasolini's "The 120 Days of Sodom" and the current right-wing populist movements in Italy and elsewhere. To understand such references, you should have read the program.

Of course there were also problems during the six festival weeks: during a solo night by the Russian pianist Grigory Sokolov, the Halle Festspielhaus collapsed during a thunderstorm and for the Castorf premiere the Halleischer fire brigade had to go to the roof of the old salt cuppa hall on the Pernerinsel, the Off-location of the festival to cool off with water. Possibly also because of the weather pneumonia, the Tobias Moretti as "everyone" had passed. For him, the thoroughbred mime Philipp Hochmair jumped at the last moment, including in Austria, with the TV-political satire "Vorstadtweiber" for a long time a star and possibly soon in Germany.

Last year, Teodor Currentzis had a coup with Mozart & # 39; s "La clemenza di Tito". This time the Greek conductor active in the Russian city of Perm presented a cycle of all Beethoven symphonies. To begin with, he chose the "Ninth" by Beethoven, which he presented to the enthusiastic audience with a recordly suspected tempo of sixty minutes. The judgments of the critics ranged from & # 39; borderline & # 39; to & # 39; charlatanry & # 39; Intendant Markus Hinterhäuser will certainly entrust the classic punk, which always wears black jeans and heavy boots, with even more demanding tasks. The next Salzburg Festival years will also be exciting, that's for sure.

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