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A new version of Die Tote Stadt by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) premières on 15 August, with further performances until 30 August. Korngold wrote his most successful opera at the age of twenty. He based it on Rodenbach's novel Bruges la morte about a man named Paul who cannot overcome his grief over the death of his wife Marie. He goes to Brugge, Belgium, attracted there because it is an old town and, hence, more dead than alive. There, he meets the dancer Marietta, tries to resurrect Marie in her, and eventually strangles Marietta to make her, dead, more like Marie. It is a tragic story that never fails to move, especially since it contains the beautiful aria 'Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen'.

Anna Netrebko
Anna Netrebko

Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja, two of the currently hottest stars in classical music, will sing in I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835), on 18 and 21 August. On the theatre side, the play Edward II by Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), with music by Lars Wittershagen, will be staged between 31 July (première) and 13 August (final performance).

Concerts are also high profile, as always at the Festspiele. Several world-class conductors will be present in Salzburg to rub shoulders with the crowds. Riccardo Muti will be conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, on 5 and 7 August, as they play Schubert's Symphony No 4 in C minor (D417) and Symphony No 8 in C major (D944).

Christoph Eschenbach conducts (14 and 15 August) Aribert Reimann's work Zeit -- Inseln ('Time -- Islands') and Mahler's Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor. The Salzburg Festival commissioned Reimann's work.

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Copyright © 22 July 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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