Every country on the planet has something special or its own to offer like Salzburg. But Salzburg does it for over 200 years. From exotic, tropical islands like Maldives or Bahamas to all the countries across Europe, America and all the other continents.
Carnivals, music festivals, theaters and cinema artworks are just some of the entertainments where people can find always fun.
Plenty of activities are at disposal, especially throughout Europe. It’s just up to us to go and experience them.
I have written about the carnivals in Munich in the last article.
Today, I am looking forward to bring some interesting facts about the activities in this upcoming year; the ones that will take place in the city of Salzburg in Austria.
Tour guide around this city will be more than excited for you, I have no doubt. Avoid such offers like “Free Tours in Salzburg”. The city administration doesn’t allow this anymore. By all means, this offers no quality at all.
If you find yourself in another city like Munich, check out the many Salzburg Day Trips from it.
History of Salzburg’s festivals
Salzburg is an amazing city and once it belonged to Bavaria. Salzburg split from Bavaria in 1816, but you still may visit the Munich Square and see the symbol from Munich there.
As every year, a lot of festivals will be on board during this 2020 year too.
Since 1877 Salzburg offers some irregular intervals world-known music festivals. The major organization from those events is the ‘Mozarteum Foundation’.
Due the outbreak of World War I, they canceled the festival from 1914.
Two men, Friedrich Gehmacher and Heinrich Damisch formed an organization known today as the ‘Salzburger Festsspielhaus – Gemeinde’ in 1917. They have created it in order to establish an annual festival of drama and music, emphasizing especially the legendary works of Mozart.
One of the best – known artists who came from this city.
At the end of the war, five men, actually the founders of the festival revived the event.
Those five men were all involved in some kind of art. They were the poet and dramatist ‘Hugo von Hofmannsthal’, the composer ‘Richard Strauss’, the scenic designer ‘Alfred Roller’, the conductor ‘Franz Schalk’ and the director ‘Max Reinhardt’.
Max Reinhardt was then the intendant of the ‘Deutsches Theater’ in Berlin where the first performance of Hofmannsthal’s play ‘Jadermann’ was produced. That was played out at the ‘Berlin Zirkus Schumann’ arena in 1911.
The beginning of the Salzburg Festival
Inaugurated on 22 August in 1920 with Mr. Reinhardt’s performance of Hofmannsthal’s ‘Jadermann’ is this festival was from the international fame. Starring ‘Alexander Moissi’ It performed on the steps of ‘Salzburg Cathedral’. Also, it is probably the best festival you can visit here.
This year it will last from the 18th of July until the 30th of August.
Soon the practice became a tradition. The play is now always performed at ‘Cathedral Square’. Since 1921 it has been accompanied by several performances of chamber music and orchestral works.
In the following year, the first operatic production came in. It took its shine with Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ conducted by ‘Richard Strauss’. The singers were mainly drawn from the ‘Wiener Staatsoper’ including ‘Richard Tauber’ in the part of ‘Don Ottavio’.
On the basis of plans by ‘Clemens Holzmeister’, the first festival hall was erected in 1925 at the former ‘Archbishops’ horse stables on the northern foot of the ‘Moenchsberg mountain’.
It was opened with Gozzi’s ‘Turandot’ dramatized by ‘Karl Vollmoeller’.
At that time the festival had already developed a large – scale program including live broadcasts by the Austrian ‘RAVAG’ radio network.
In the next year, the adjacent former episcopal ‘Felsenreitschule’ riding academy. It was carved into the ‘Moenchsberg’ rock face and then converted into a theater. Furthermore, it was inaugurated with a performance of ‘The servant of Two Masters’ by ‘Carlo Goldoni’.
The original festival hall reconstructed in the 21st century was suitable only for concerts. So, it became the third venue for fully staged opera and concert performances. The ‘Haus fur Mozart’ in 2006 was the place for the new opening of the festival.
The Salzburg Whitsun Festival
Firstly, I would like to mention that this event is from May 29th to June 1st this year.
Whitsun Festival established as the behest of ‘Herbert von Karajan’ in 1973 as a brief concert series with the name ‘Pfingstkonzerte’.
Nowadays its schedule remains at four days, but it is characterized by multiple events each day. What is more important is that it is managed under the umbrella of the main summer ‘Salzburg |Festival’.
The first ‘Whitsun Concerts’ centered on three symphonies by ‘Bruckner’. All conducted by Karajan and played at the ‘Grosses Festspielhaus’ over three days by the ‘Berlin Philharmonic’.
Years later, opera became one of the main parts of the activities and concerts became officially ‘Festival’.
In the 1990s there began an emphasis on works from the ‘Baroque’ repertoire. In the year of 2005, for example, the ‘Salzburg Whitsun Festival’ presented Handel’s ‘Acts and Galatea’ and his oratorio ‘Solomon’.
Two years after that, ‘Riccardo Muti’ became the artistic director of the festival under a five – year contract. During that time, he presented fully staged performances of operatic rarities from the 18th and 19th century ‘Neapolitan School’ of opera in the ‘Haus for Mozart’.
He has been succeeded by mezzo-soprano ‘Cecilia Bartoli’, also for a period of five years.
‘Jedermann’ at the Salzburg Festival
What I can truly say is that this festival is hard to imagine without already mentioned ‘Jadermann’. Because this festivity celebrates the anniversary this 2020 year, I feel an obligation to mention this part of it.
This is a play about the death of a rich man and the one that never failed to captivate audiences. Especially when performed in the perfect setting right outside ‘Salzburg Cathedral’.
This artwork is based on the tradition of medieval mystery plays, especially that of ‘Everyman’. It is an English mystery play dating back to the 16th century.
The stage play of this piece of art was first performed on the 1st of December in 1911 at ‘Berlin’s Schuhmann Circus’, under the direction of Max Reinhardt.
Salzburg Easter Festival
The most traditional music festival in this city. Herbert von Karajan created this festival in 1967. When it’s up to the current year, I will be available from 4th to 13th of May.
This festival is defined as a complement to the ‘Salzburg Festival’, which comes in August. The Easter Festival quickly established itself as an exclusive and artistically brilliant event.
Karajan’s underlying idea behind founding this event was to further foster the festival concept in and for Salzburg.
That said, the Easter Festival never saw itself merely as an offshoot of the Salzburg Festival in summer, wanting instead to develop a profile that was uniquely it’s own. And it succeeded, thanks to first-class directors, top-caliber performers, and elaborate operatic productions.
Jazz & the City Festival
The estimated time of this great event this year is 15th to 18th of October, in autumn.
‘Jazz & The City’ means that Salzburg’s churches and wine bars alike opening their doors to audiences. While International performers make music together in a relaxed setting with free admission, I can guarantee a topnotch experience.
The program at this event includes ‘World Music’, jazz and electronic music, international greats as well as newcomers with a bright future.
Musicians and music lovers flock the streets and back lanes of Salzburg every time, enjoying the blend of music.
In addition, great food and drinks and casual encounters are available for you.
Actually, the stages during this festival are every bit as diverse as the artists themselves. At 50 different locations, over 100 concerts promise an incomparable atmosphere and compelling musical experimentation.
So, if you are one of the lovers of this music, unforgettable moments are waiting for you.
One of the events that will provide a complete excitement here is definitely a ‘Sommerszene’. During this event, the city of Salzburg literally become ‘a mecca’ of contemporary performances art.
This festivity will take place from 15th to 27th of June.
At this festival, Salzburg brings international guest performers and Austrian first – performances from the world of theater, dance and installation to the City of Mozart.
Sommerszene is like the antithesis to the ‘Salzburg Festival’. In effect, this event has developed over the decades into an internationally acclaimed festival. That is pretty rare in all of Austria though.
The focus of the festival is very much on the world of contemporary dance. Its program offers a variety of theater, music, film and visual arts.
Every year, the program distinguishes itself by crossing conventional boundaries and taking artistic risks. Often is the case that finding new presentation platforms and offering the highest quality are demands from this event’s superiors.
Numerous free events designed to promote dialogue between artists and the public accompany the performance program. That is something I really like personally.
Siemens Fest > Spiel > Naechte
If you have perhaps wondered what is so attractive for thousands of visitors to the ‘Kapitelplatz’, this is the answer. ‘Siemens > Spiel > Naechte Festival’. The program for this event will be available from the beginning of July. The exact date is still unknown.
This festival is an exceptionally successful cooperation between the ‘Salzburg Festival’, ‘ORF Salzburg’, ‘Siemens Austria’ and ‘Unitel’.
When you have a combination of these, great quality is inevitable.
This 5-week open-air spectacle s one of the biggest cultural public – viewing events in Europe.
This festival will provide you an opportunity to enjoy culture beneath open skies and right next to the cathedral and with views of ‘Hohensalzburg Fortress’. I admit that none of Salzburg’s indoor festival venues can offer such a unique backdrop.
The ‘Kapitelplatz’ serves an open-air stage during this event.
Whether sat down in the seating rows, sipping on a glass of wine in front of one of the restaurant tents – this event is always offers a magical atmosphere.
These were some of my recommendations for top attractions in Salzburg. I hope it will be useful.