Thursday, 6 September 2012

Salzburg 7: Verdi Requiem

Despite the star wattage of Harteros, Garanča, Kaufmann and Pape, this Super-Requiem didn’t quite live to die another day. Full review here.

A few words about the ball: Pereira has decided this was enough of a success to continue next year, though how much money it raised hasn’t been made public yet. Those who only paid 190 had to watch the opening from a screen in the Karl Böhm Saal, and Die Presse found a disgruntled Bavarian gentleman to grumble about that. Ben Becker, the actor who played Death in this year’s Jedermann, was evidently in high spirits after getting married in the morning and got politely escorted out after heckling Pereira. A little premature, as his services were called for – I warn you, the Jedermann irony is about to get horrible – when Pereira led a charity auction in aid of the local day hospice. A Nice-Barcelona cruise eventually sold for the reserve price of 10,000 after getting no higher bids from an audience including Wolfgang Porsche (net worth: four billion euros) and other assorted Croesuses. As God laments in the Hofmannsthal play, ‘Ihr Trachten geht auf irdisch Gut allein / Und was darüber, das ist ihr Spott’.

Moving on to the Wiener Philharmoniker. I already wrote here of how difficult modern music, as much as they dislike it, tends magically to concentrate their Schlamperei-addled minds, so that Die Soldaten was good was perhaps not too unexpected. Rather more of a surprise – I write having heard them in two concerts, an opera, and four broadcasts – was the general standard of playing given a reconfigured funding arrangement which, as of this year, meant they got paid a flat rate for the entire festival instead of per performance and rehearsal (thus removing the incentive to rehearse more than they deem necessary). But all anxiety about that was dispelled and I would be a happy Hase indeed if they played as consistently during the season here.

I never go the theatre in Salzburg because many of the good productions make their way over here, and one must-see over the next two months at the Burg, for a fraction of the Salzburg price, will be Andrea Breth’s Prinz Friedrich von Homburg. It got rave reviews and opens in Vienna tonight.

After the jump, some facts and figures from this year’s festival.

256 Performances in 45 Days at 16 Venues

The program of the 2012 Salzburg Festival offered 256 events at 16 performance venues in the three genres of opera, concerts and drama.

44        Opera performances (7 staged productions)
4          Concert performances of  2 operas
95        Concerts (82 different programs)
76        Drama performances (12 productions)
5          Readings
31        Children’s performances (7 productions)
1          Ball

FINAL REPORT Salzburg Festival 2012

(Current as of August 30, 2012)

ca. € 28,250,000          Total Revenue, Summer (excluding Festival Ball)

VISITORS (as of August 30, excluding Festival Ball)

            240,000           at 251 regular events
            5,911               at 3 benefit dress rehearsals
            3,980               at 2 open-air events (at the Großes Festspielhaus)     
            10,587             at 42 special events

            18,500             at 22 rehearsals and dress rehearsals

This constitutes the highest number of visitors in the history of the Salzburg Festival. The previous record was achieved during the Mozart Year of 2006 with 265,219 visitors.


Image credit: Wolfgang Lienbacher

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