Salzburg Festival marks centenary

Famous as the birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg has hosted an annual summer festival of music and the performing arts since 1920 – which makes 2020 an opportunity to celebrate Salzburg Festival’s 100th birthday.

With a state exhibition entitled “Great World Theatre” at the Austrian city’s main museum running from the spring, various festivities and events will culminate in an ambitious programme of 222 performances in 44 days at 15 different venues.

Founded in 696, Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria, located on the site of the former Roman settlement of Iuvavum. The city’s historic centre is renowned for its Baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps, with 27 churches. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

“The entire city is a stage” is how the founders of the Salzburg Festival – Max Reinhardt, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss – formulated their intentions a century ago. Since then,  it has become one of the most important festivals for the performing arts worldwide. August 2020’s operatic highlights will include Mozart’s ‘-“Don Giovanni” and “The Magic Flute”, Strauss’s “Electra” and Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” while theatrically “Jedermann” will once again be the focus of attention – including Jedermann Day on 22 August 2020, as a tribute to the first performance on that day in 1920. Musically, the concert programme comprises 91 events with a thematic focus on Ludwig van Beethoven, who would have celebrated his 250th birthday in 2020. Star performers will include divas Anna Netrebko and Cecilia Bartoli, conductors Mariss Jansons and Teodor Currentzis  as well as renowned singers Ildar Abdrazakov and Plácido Domingo.

A total of over 240,000 tickets will be available for purchase online from the end of March.


Photo: Evening mood at the Siemens Festival Nights at Kapitelplatz