Whether one loves it or hates it, the summer Salzburg Festival remains one of the most important events in classical music. Ever since the hotly contested mandate of Gérard Mortier, the festival has opened up to artists and repertoire often neglected in the past. And while the 2012 festival boasts 232 events at 15 venues on 45 days, ticket and hotel reservations are booked well in advance and are expensive.
With the Vienna Philharmonic in the pit, opera highlights include Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Riccardo Chailly (the original 1912 version, complete with Moličre’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme), La Boheme conducted by Danielle Gatti with Anna Netrebko as Mimi, Carmen conducted by Simon Rattle (with Magdalena Kožená and Jonas Kaufmann), and B.A. Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (1963) conducted by Ingo Metzmacher. Mozart' Die Zauberflöte and Handel’s Giulio Cesare completes the opera line-up, starring Cecilia Bartoli, Andreas Scholl, Philippe Jaroussky, and performed by Giovanni Antonini and Il Giardino Armonico.
Orchestral concerts and solo recitals include five different programmes by the Vienna Philharmonic under the batons of Muti, Haitink, Gergiev, Jansons and Heinz Holliger. Riccardo Muti will conduct Berlioz’s Messe solennelle. Visiting orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst, Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra as well as Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Pianist Daniel Barenboim will also interpret a cycle of Schubert’s piano sonatas.
Song recitals include Christian Gerhaher, Juan Diego Florez and Elina Garanča amongst others.
This years concert season starts with the new series Ouverture spirituelle. Besides well-known concert series such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Guest Orchestras or the Mozart-Matinees, the program contains well-chosen concert series like Salzburg contemporary or Über die Grenze (Across the borders), which presents Slavonic music by Antonín Dvorák, Josef Suk, Bohuslav Martinu, Leoš Janácek and Bedrich Smetana.
Salzburg Festival 2012 Website