Appropriately for the Wagner anniversary year, the Festival will open on 23 March 2013 with a new production of Richard Wagner’s opera »Parsifal«, conducted by Christian Thielemann. It will be staged by the German director Michael Schulz. Alexander Polzin will be responsible for the sets and costumes. The title role in Richard Wagner’s »Parsifal« has been cast at the highest level with Johan Botha. At the special request of Christian Thielemann, Wolfgang Koch, one of the outstanding Wagner baritones of our times, takes on two roles: Amfortas and Klingsor. The celebrated mezzo-soprano Michaela Schuster will interpret the role of Kundry. The leading Danish bass and Wagner specialist Stephen Milling will appear as Gurnemanz and the young Bulgarian bass Milcho Borovinov in the role of Titurel. The Chorus of the Semperoper Dresden also makes its debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival in this new production, which is a co-production with the Semperoper Dresden and which is provisionally scheduled to be performed there in 2015.
Outstanding orchestral and choral concerts featuring first-rate soloists as well as diverse chamber music offerings from the Staatskapelle Dresden
The 2013 concert programme focuses on three composers: Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes
Brahms and Hans Werner Henze. For Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 and 5, two of the world’s most acclaimed pianists will take to the stage: Evgeny Kissin and Yefim Bronfman. Myung-Whun Chung, the designated Principal Guest Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden, will conduct the programme with Kissin, which also features Carl Maria von Weber’s »Freischütz« Overture and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Christian Thielemann will lead the traditional choral concert with Brahms’ »Ein deutsches Requiem«, featuring soprano Christiane Karg and baritone Michael Volle as soloists, together with the Chorus of the Bavarian Radio. Thielemann’s second orchestral concert includes Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4. At the beginning of this concert, a joint commission between the Salzburg Easter Festival and the Staatskapelle Dresden will have its world premiere: Isoldes Tod by the great German composer Hans Werner Henze, whom the Staatskapelle Dresden welcomes as its new Capell Compositeur for the 2012/13 season, and whose works will also feature in the programmes of the Semperoper and Semperoper Ballett.
Myung-Whun Chung will also appear as a pianist at the two chamber music concerts featuring members of the Staatskapelle Dresden. The programme includes Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro for French horn and piano, Henze’s String Quartet No. 3 and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quintet. A new feature of the Easter Festival’s programme will be a late-night concert: the Nacht der Dresdner Kammermusik (»Dresden Chamber Music Night«) introducing members of the Staatskapelle Dresden in various chamber music formations.
The Konzert für Salzburg as a greeting from Dresden and as an invitation to the citizens of Salzburg and its surroundings
The Konzert für Salzburg (»Concert for Salzburg« is the major innovation in the new programme. As an additional concert with the Staatskapelle Dresden, outside its subscription series, this concert is directed mainly towards the citizens of Salzburg and its surroundings. We hope that the reasonably priced tickets will enable a young audience to attend the Salzburg Easter Festival. In 2013, the Konzert für Salzburg will be conducted by Christian Thielemann and Myung-Whun Chung, who will take turns on the podium. The programme’s focus is on works by Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, both of whom celebrate anniversaries in 2013. The overtures to Wagner’s »Tannhäuser« and the Prelude and »Isoldes Liebestod« from »Tristan und Isolde« will be juxtaposed with Verdi’s overture to »La forza del destino« and prelude to »La traviata«. The remaining programme will be added and announced at a later date. Tickets for the Concert for Salzburg will be priced between € 30,– and € 70,– (students benefit from a reduced admission of € 15,–). Advance sales for the Konzert für Salzburg will begin on 1 October 2012. After the concert, there will be the opportunity of moving on to the republic for the above-mentioned Nacht der Dresdner Kammermusik, where the evening will end in a “chamber music frame of mind” with members of the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Education and youth projects in 2013
Projects for children and young people remain a priority for the Salzburg Easter Festival. The project series OPER QUICKLEBENDIG – Jugend und Osterfestspiele (OPERA LIVE – Young People and Salzburg Easter Festival), organised in cooperation with Akzente Salzburg since 1994, will continue. Every year, it offers a large number of students from secondary schools in the city and region of Salzburg the opportunity to learn about opera from various perspectives, including glimpses behind the scenes.
In 2013 the Staatskapelle Dresden will also introduce its children’s project Kapelle für Kids to Salzburg. The centrepiece of this concert for children aged six and upwards is Richard Wagner and the »Siegfried Idyll«, presented by the puppet Alma.
Ticket prices reduced starting in 2013
The Salzburg Easter Festival has revised its ticket prices for the Großes Festspielhaus for the 2013 season. In addition to the above-mentioned reasonably priced tickets for the Konzert für Salzburg, ticket prices for opera and orchestral concerts have in general been noticeably reduced. The new ticket prices for opera now range between € 70,– and € 490,–, those for orchestral concerts between € 30,– and € 220,–. For the choral concert, with higher staging costs, there will be a separate pricing scale, from € 40,– to € 260,–. Thus, future visitors to the Easter Festival’s subscription concerts will benefit from an average reduction in ticket prices of 6.5 percent. Patrons of the Salzburg Easter Festival will continue to receive preferential treatment for their ticket orders and enjoy the exclusive advantage of annually guaranteed seats as subscribers. Remaining nonsubscription tickets will be on sale to the general public from January 2013.