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Culture

Salzburg Festival celebrates anniversaries and world premiere

The Salzburg Festival began with a new interpretation of its traditional opener, Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Everyman." The play features Nicholas Ofczarek as Everyman and Birgit Minichmayr as the Paramour heading a superb cast.

The festival is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Large Festival Hall, which has housed countless unforgettable opera productions and concerts íncluding the premiere of "Der Rosenkavalier" by Richard Strauss in 1960, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

The world premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s new opera "Dionysos" based on poems by Friedrich Nietzsche is this year’s opening musical highlight. Mythological figures like Oedipus, Phedre, Elektra, Orpheus and Euridice feature prominently in this year's plays and opera, but the festival programme also contains Mozart’s "Don Giovanni," Gounod’s "Romeo et Juliette" and Alban Berg’s "Lulu."

Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim gave this year's opening address. He spoke of his long relationship with the festival city of Salzburg, stressing his belief that music can bring people of different backgrounds together in peaceful dialogue, and of his hope that music might also influence the political sphere in the Middle East conflict.

The Salzburg Festival continues until August 30.

Author: Elizabeth Mortimer
Editor: Kate Bowen