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Estival Festivals: V. Salzburg

In my efforts not to concentrate all the festivals in a single blog post, I've been slow to mention the Salzburg Festival, which opened last weekend as well. Salzburg is a funny small city that blends the provincial with the international, particularly in the summer when the little cobblestone streets are filled with floods of American tourists lining up for the "Sound of Music" tour on the one hand, and wealthy women in $5,000 silk dirndls heading off for the Grosses Festspielhaus (followed by Salzburger Nockerl at the Goldener Hirsch).

One of the most beloved events at the Salzburg Festival every year is pretty much unknown to non-German speakers: the annual production of "Jedermann" (Everyman) a spoken play by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (one of the Salzburg Festival's founders) modeled on medieval mystery plays and performed in the city's main square every year with leading German actors (Maximilian Schell and Klaus Maria Brandauer have starred in past versions). The press that wasn't devoted to that -- Peter Simonischek, the current Jedermann, has now played the title role here more times than any other actor -- focused on what's apparently a strong new production of Handel's late oratorio "Theodora" with Christine Schäfer, Bejun Mehta, and Bernarda Fink. (A benchmark for comparison is the Peter Sellars production with Dawn Upshaw, David Daniels and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson from Glyndebourne in the 1990s.)

The reason to post about this today, however, is that (as a commenter has already observed) you can watch a live broadcast of the new production of "Cosi fan tutte" on your computer today, Thursday, July 30, for a fee of about $11, starting at 3 p.m. DC time. (If you can't arrange to sit at your computer all afternoon, the broadcast will remain up for the next 7 days.) Adam Fischer, the brother of the NSO principal conductor, Iván Fischer, leads the Claus Guth staging; production details here.

By Anne Midgette  |  July 30, 2009; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  festivals , international , opera  
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