For its centenary, the Salzburg festival will take place in a lite version

In this very special year, they didn’t want to give up, kept confidence. Their determination seems to have been the ” right choice “. The organisers of the Salzburg festival have decided to keep the edition 2020, the centennial, in spite of the crisis of the sars coronavirus. While the festivals of Easter and Pentecost had to be cancelled in the middle of the period of confinement and the impossibility for artists and spectators to travel to the heart of Austria, Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the prestigious event, has just announced the program of the summer session.

→ IN MAY. The Salzburg festival still hopes to…

Heavily remodeled, it offers all the same 110 lifts the curtain (compared to 200), from the 1st to the 30 August, instead of July 18 to August 30, as planned. Certainly, the lyrical program has dramatically ” melted “, the terms and conditions of reps and the engagement, well before the first of very many musicians and technicians proved to be incompatible with the constraints of sanitary ware. Of ten operas, the offer to two : Elektra Richard Strauss (composer associated since the origin of the festival) and Cosi fan tutte Mozart, the child of the country we can only imagine that he is not present for the 100 years of the festival !

Torrential ” Elektra “ and irresistible ” Cosi “…

The tragic story of the daughter of Agamemnon, carried away by the music pouring from Strauss, will be served by the team initially announced : Krzysztof Warlikowski staging and Franz Welser-Möst at the musical direction. As for the marivaudage mozart, as tender, as playful, funny as melancholic, he will be entrusted to the conductor Joana Mallwitz, the first woman to hold the wand for an opera at the Salzburg festival. To note that the singers belong to the young generation a voice ; and honour to France as Elsa Dreisig, Marianne Crebassa and Lea Desandre represent the three heroines women of this Cosi that was not the initial program of the publishing 2020 !

Side theatre, Zdenek Adamac, original text of Peter Handke, will be given by creation, whilstEverywoman the Swiss Milo Rau should also attract the interest of lovers of contemporary writing. Not to mention, annual ritual unchanging registered since 1920 in the history of Salzburg, 14 representations of Jedemannthe play of Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who also was one of the fathers of the festival.

A health protocol tight

To meet the requirements of health and to reassure the public, the organisers indicate that, in addition to the measures which had now become the “classic” hygiene, flow control and distancing, all tickets will be registered. It is to be able to keep the contact details of the spectators to prevent them if a case of infection was detected after the representation to which they attended.

There are 80 000 tickets, instead of the 230 000 initially projected, which are put on sale by the festival, which takes place in a country where the impact of the sars coronavirus has been relatively low – less than 700 deaths to 16 889 cases detected in Austria. The epidemic is now seen as circumscribed but we cannot forget that Salzburg became a small summary of the world during the summer, with the festival attracting fans from all over the world and international artists. Remains to be seen now that each other, may come in peace and freedom.


Large events canceled: That would be the end of the cultural nation Germany as we know it

Wis a “major event”? Is it only valid from 3000 visitors or already from 1000 or less? May the Berliner Philharmoniker hold their season opener in mid-August (including a planned tour to Salzburg, Lucerne and London)? Can the Berlin Music Festival start on August 29? Nobody knows.

In any case, since April 15th to August 31st, the “major events” as a result of the Corona crisis have been officially and legally prohibited in Germany. The opera and concert lover Angela Merkel has not said how this should be interpreted. Does that mean a lockdown of the entire summer festival landscape? And is that finally the remaining season in the theaters canceled?

On the various stage websites you bravely cling to official closing dates until mid or late April, probably without any realism. Behind the scenes, closure or restriction scenarios are being run through until the end of the year. And Professor Jörg Hacker from the Leopoldina does not even speak of a new opening before 2022! That would be the end of the cultural nation Germany, at least as we know it.

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But even if you assume the smallest possible evil, namely the closure until August 31: Do the freelance artists, who are already hard hit anyway, now have to live with at least six months of total income waiver? Orchestras such as choirs and the rest of the theater staff, unlike in Austria, have not yet been working short-time, but those who sell their skin and their names on the front lines on stages and podiums are completely unemployed at home. And among them are truly not only top earners who can afford something like this.

In addition, the promised emergency aid is either already exhausted or does not arrive at all, because in many federal states only operating grants are granted – and the self-employed who live on fees cannot claim them. Only Hartz IV remains for her. Many a singer is now sitting at the Rewe cash register, whether out of necessity or solidarity, it remains to be seen.

Little hope for Aix and Avignon

In France, however, events were generally canceled until mid-July, after which the large, economically significant summer festivals such as Avignon or Aix were canceled. In Aix, it is still hoped that at least three of the co-productions will be ready for streaming around July 14, as they are already planned for the partners in autumn, or that free orchestras such as the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble would be able to provide the much-needed salaries .

It is questionable, of course, whether the “Così fan tutte” director Dmitri Techerniakov from Moscow will be able to arrive where Corona is just starting to rage. And in Paris, the Opéra dreams of trying out its first two “ring” premieres, which have now turned out to be unusual, in August, as a result of the Bayreuth Festival cancellation, many Wagner singers, including conductor Philippe Jordan, now suddenly have time. Then “Rheingold” and “Valkyrie” could be made up for when the whole cycle is played from November.

But these are all just business games. That is why some stages that only wanted to announce their season these days now only publish online brochures, too much is uncertain, canceled productions of these months may still want to be included in the fluid agenda. But even in the pop scene, facts are created: “Rock am Ring” and “Rock im Park” are canceled, as is the heavy metal open air in Wacken in mid-August.

A lot still hangs in the air

In the classical field, Austria is still hoping for Bregenz and Salzburg, who continue to weigh things up. In Salzburg, however, all the scenic productions for the 100th anniversary summer 2020 are supposed to be postponed to 2021, the plan is for an unofficial two-week concert program. The Lucerne Festival is still sticking to its dates, as is the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall from July 17th in the empty English festival calendar – even if hardly anyone expects it.

Much can only be canceled for legal reasons if it is justified by the state, and so many institutions are still hanging in the air with tours and performances, although it is clear that they will not take place. And that’s why there is still no concrete statement from the major German summer concert festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, in the Rheingau or in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which of course all co-finance the smaller ones with the larger events.

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In Austria, prominent singers have joined together to petition the federal government. The signatories’ demands – including Elisabeth Kulman, Tomasz Konieczny and Günther Groissböck: Uniform, legally compliant, Europe-wide regulations for the payment of freelance artists. “Until now we were lone fighters, but now we have to switch the lever to solidarity”, tenor Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke outlined the idea. Many colleagues are afraid to position themselves publicly against the arbitrariness of the organizers.

Because the default fees are also very different. The well-known baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle has compiled a list. He told the “Münchner Merkur” that the Munich Volkstheater paid 80 percent of the fee for canceled evenings. One hundred percent would transfer the theaters in Hof, Münster, Basel, Copenhagen, London and the Landestheater Niederbayern. Paris paid a partial amount for one performance and for the rest of a series, Darmstadt was there with 50 percent. Other houses, some of which are highly renowned, were also generous. However, they did not want to make this public. As you can see: no coordination, nowhere. And not just when it comes to large events.


A festival dies of Corona every day

Rilke always goes. “Lord, it’s time. The summer was very big. ”How we would have loved to have sighed in October 2020. As every year, exhausted, tired, overflowing with impressions, but happy. Because our festival summer was again a big one, at least a rich one. Will it happen this fall? Rather not.

The Bayreuth Festival has just been canceled. And the new “ring” has been postponed to 2022. There are many inherent system and pandemic reasons. For example, a poorly ventilated, aisle-free festival hall, in which a crowd of sixties from sixty upwards squeezes onto narrow wooden seats and immediately, the light has gone out, coughing from tuxedo jackets and stoles. And where, it rains, because of the lack of foyers, crowding in tight quarters, sausage rolls, jostling.

The orchestra, meanwhile, is crouched in a hidden ditch – close to each other, mostly experienced and therefore mostly not quite young musicians, not necessarily fully clothed. If there was a dissemination paradise, it would be called the Bayreuth Festival Theater. It could have become the Ischgl of the opera world.

Just like the brave Salzburg Festival, which has not yet been canceled. Because here, too, there is: a rich – well – older clientele who stumbles every day in a provincial capital, which is already flooded with tourist crowds, gasping for breath through heat waves or rain in narrow streets. And then, also in thousands, in theater buildings, in order to afterwards drink and eat what is seen in what is not exactly generous bars, drinking and eating. And that for six weeks.

Will that still be possible now? Would we enjoy carefree if there is no corona vaccine yet? Can this still be done with missing seniors in permanent quarantine? We will have to do without the Salzburg Festival and the Bayreuth Festival. And probably also at all other festivals, festivals, chamber music re-controls, artist encounters. And that’s right.

However, those responsible in Salzburg, as far as they express themselves, still stick to their appointments. Salzburg begins on July 18, Bayreuth traditionally would have started on July 25th, the Lucerne Festival as the largest of the Switzerland Mid August. That was a long time ago, but will it be enough in the Austrian and Swiss cases?

In Salzburg, the artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser gives us courage using a three-step plan. The summer festival must be started behind the scenes on 30 May at the latest. In Lucerne, Michael Haefliger, as head of a flexible orchestral festival, is confident with no scenic productions. But behind the scenes you can hear something else.

It would have been extraordinary vintages for both of the most important German-language opera festivals: Salzburg would like to celebrate its 100th anniversary with great pomp, especially with even more performances, and a new “Ring des Nibelungen” would have been available in Bayreuth from July 27th. Four premieres in six days with almost 16 hours of music, the most powerful production company that knows the music world.

In Bayreuth the rehearsals should have started on April 1st, otherwise it would have been tight because in the end three more, resumed Wagner works had to share a stage. Contracts for orchestras, singers and security forces should have been finalized, and millions of people are juggling right now. The Board of Directors has now rightly decided against it. Because what would have been if there had been a suspicion of corona among the international actors? Closing from now on!

Also in Salzburg you have to Austria has just announced the shutdown until the end of April, certainly at least to forego the Pentecost Festival of Cecilia Bartoli starting on May 29th. Just like the opening of the anniversary exhibition at the end of April. That would have little impact for the summer, but why should everything be different again? How should the participants and the audience come in from all over the world, if many nations still have closed borders, and air traffic functions only minimally?

How should international orchestras come to Lucerne that have run out of money or because, as has long been the case in America, from the Metropolitan Opera to the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, the musicians were fired? And will the public still be able and willing to pay up to 430 euros in Salzburg or 350 francs in Lucerne? Will sponsors jump out? Or who balances the budgets, if maybe only every third place can be sold preventively?

Other institutions have long since decided on this hard cut: No festivals this summer in Burgenland, neither the Operetta Festival Mörbisch nor the opera in the Roman quarry in St. Margarethen, which attracted thousands every day. In England, with the exception of the Glyndebourne Festival, which is now planned to start on July 14th instead of May 21st, all other privately financed summer operas for 2020 have already closed their doors; the Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk, founded by Benjamin Britten, which was due to start on June 12, was also canceled.

The third largest Swiss summer festival in Verbier has already given up. Here, event locations would have to be built up, the youth orchestra as the backbone of the program would surely have preludes that cannot take place. In Bayreuth – hopefully – the normal schedule will run with a new “Dutchman” in summer 2021; this year’s “ring” singers will be required elsewhere in May and June 2021, and will have to earn back any money they have just lost. So we will have to wait two years until we experience a new “ring” from Valentin Schwarz.

So we have to stick to Rilke’s “autumn day” until further notice: “Who is alone now will stay long, / will watch, read, write long letters / and will wander back and forth / restlessly in the avenues if the leaves are floating. “


Helene concert in Salzburg canceled due to Corona – music

The planned concert of Helene Fischer on April 4th in Bad Hofgastein (Pongau) will not take place. The event was canceled due to an official order.

“Unfortunately we have to inform you that the concert of HELENE FISCHER in the course of the Sound & Snow Gastein on 04.04.2020 in Bad Hofgastein cannot take place due to the current development in relation to CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19)”, the organizers explained from “Sound & Snow” on Facebook.

Regarding tickets already purchased and booked hotels, as well as travel “we are currently in close coordination with our ticket partners and all other partners,” it continues.

Corona measure

In order to limit the spread of the corona virus in Austria, outdoor events with over 500 participants and indoor events with over 100 participants are prohibited until the beginning of April.

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Eintracht Frankfurt moves into the round of 16 | TIME ONLINE

Eintracht Frankfurt 2-2 Red Bull Salzburg (1-1)

One day late, Bundesliga soccer club Eintracht Frankfurt moved into the round of 16 of the Europa League. The Hessians made a 2: 2 (1: 1) tie at Red Bull Salzburg, which was enough to advance after their 4-1 first leg win. Salzburg’s captain Andreas Ulmer (10th minute) and Jérôme Onguéné (72nd) put the hosts in the lead twice, Frankfurt’s André Silva (30th and 83rd) equalized twice. The game was originally supposed to take place on Thursday evening, but was postponed to Friday due to a hurricane warning. In the second round, Frankfurt will meet FC Basel on March 12th and 19th.

FC Porto – Bayer Leverkusen 1: 3 (0: 1)

Bayer Leverkusen made it to the round of 16 of the Europa League with an impressive performance. The Leverkusen won on Thursday evening with last year’s Champions League quarter-finalists FC Porto 3-1 (1-0), after a 2-1 win in the first leg a week ago. For Leverkusen, Lucas Alario (11th), Kerem Demirbay (51st) scored with his first goal in the 26th competitive game for Bayer and international Kai Havertz (57th). Moussa Marega scored for Porto (66.), his team-mate Tiquinho Soares saw the red card after an attack (85.). In the second round, Leverkusen will play against the Glasgow Rangers.

Malmo FF – VfL Wolfsburg 0: 3 (0: 1)

With an away win at Malmö FF, VfL Wolfsburg has reached the round of 16 of the Europa League. The Bundesliga club won the Swedish record champions 3-0 on Thursday evening (1-0). The Lower Saxony had won the first leg 2-1 a week earlier. Josip Brekalo (42nd minute), Yannick Gerhardt (65th) and João Victor (69th) scored the goals for VfL, which has been in the top 16 of a European competition for the first time since 2016. In the round of 16, Wolfsburg will meet the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.


Opera star Plácido Domingo admits sexual assault

opinion Sexual misconduct

Plácido Domingo apologizes – how opera houses should react now

| Reading time: 3 minutes

Manuel Brug

Domingo explains: “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

Source: AFP

After further accusations by over 20 women, which the star is said to have harassed, opera stages in Germany must also ask themselves how they want to deal with Plácido Domingo in the future. An assessment.

es took a while, but now it was obviously inevitable: Plácido Domingo admits sexual misconduct towards women. So far, the aging Spanish tenor superstar has denied all allegations categorically, but now the notorious gravity killer has apologized to the women he once troubled.

“I want you to know that I’m really sorry for the pain I’ve inflicted on you,” he said in his agency-wide statement. And: “I acknowledge full responsibility for my actions.”

These are completely new tones. He did, of course, in a message presumably formulated by a PR mastermind. And only when AGMA, the union of American opera actors, a first of two investigations against him was released, in which again over 20 women accuse him of similar crimes. According to a press release, the document said that AGMA lawyers found him guilty of repeated sexual misconduct.

Last summer, only a dozen and later a further twelve women had made accusations against Plácido Domingo according to research by the AP agency: touches, dirty comments, wet kisses, night calls, harassment. Many of them were young singers or employees at the opera houses in Washington or Los Angeles, where he had long served as director.

Everything was, of course, way back in the 80s to the beginning of the zero years. It has long been time-barred to no longer be clarified in court. No rape, but also no trivial offense.

The Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo at a concert

Source: dpa

While the career of the now baritone-singing 79-year-old quickly came to an end in Puritan America, he was rudely unloaded from opera houses such as orchestras, then had to leave the Metropolitan Opera in a rush and he also lost his directorial position in Los Angeles apparently aged people, who cannot leave the stage and the applause, and also have to feed a large family, cheerfully continue in Europe.

Salzburg, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, all continued to spread the red carpet to him. Since there was nothing relevant under criminal law, they looked away and enjoyed the income. And the numerous Domingo fans cheered him particularly loudly in defiant “now more than ever”.

After this late admission of guilt, will this tour be able to continue so easily in the face of growing testimony (dozens more opera employees want to at least have heard or heard of something similar)? Can you really measure by two standards? The next few months will see further Domingo appearances in Hamburg, Moscow, Madrid, Vienna, Verona, London, Florence, Munich, Salzburg and Milan. Are they waved through so easily?

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Sex and power at the opera

Because even if there is no longer any criminal law against Plácido Domingo: the abundance of witnesses has now even turned him back, who of course initially denied everything. So can the Royal Opera House in London, which has thrown out another tenor and its chief choreographer because of similar cases, still present a tainted Plácido Domingo on a silver platter? Can the Salzburg woman president continue to talk herself out of the fact that he was always gallant with all women there?

After all, this is about tax money from which the Domingo fees are paid. Expensive subsidized opera houses are not private companies. Should the superstar status really cover everything? You don’t have to chase an old man who has now screwed up the end of his career in disgrace from the opera court. But at least the houses should address them. And him – how long does he really want to sing? – at least no longer invite you in the future.