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The following day, Gut Immling Opera Festival director Ludwig Baumann was at Thann to discuss with Uwe Schwanz a future cooperation between the two venues, something that might become a very interesting feature on the German classical music summer circuit in the years to come. 'This year at the Immling Summer Festival, we had a classical music extravaganza on horseback,' Baumann said, 'with opera and dressage united in one performance. Mr Schwanz and I are currently under discussions to build something similar into the Thann Equestrian Festival, as part of a joint venture between our two events.'

Gut Immling Festival Director Ludwig Baumann (left) and Thann Festival director Uwe Schwanz met at Thann to discuss future cooperation between the two festivals. Photo © 2007 Philip Crebbin
Gut Immling Festival Director Ludwig Baumann (left) and Thann Festival director Uwe Schwanz met at Thann to discuss future cooperation between the two festivals. Photo © 2007 Philip Crebbin

Regarding his plans for next year, Uwe Schwanz added: 'I am very open to the idea of providing further classical music performances as part of the Thann event in the years to come. In my family, when growing up, music was a big part of our lives and so the Thann Equestrian Festival, of which I am director, is an ideal venue for continuing the marriage between high level equestrianism and classical music, which is a rising trend in Germany. Aside from deepening our ties with Immling, we will also have Mester back next year, based on how well he was received by the audience. There will also be another opera aria segment, which I may extend to showcasing young artists of merit from abroad.'

Copyright © 3 September 2007 Tess Crebbin, Munich, Germany

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Further information:

Tess Crebbin visits the opera festival at Gut Immling

A television interview, in German, with Markus Mester about Gustav Mahler can be found on the official show website. There is also a TV interview with Ludwig Baumann and Uwe Schwanz, also in German.

Video excerpts from Elke Maria Slawitschek's performance at Thann are also available online.

Young opera singers from abroad can inquire about next year's Thann festival via email through the official website.

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