The 2019 Salzburg Festival, which centres around the theme of mythology, begins this weekend, running from 20 July to 31 August 2019. Many Askonas Holt artists return to this prestigious festival, while several faces grace the festival stage for the first time.
Following her extraordinary turn in the title role of Salome at the 2018 Festival and fresh from her BBC Proms debut, Asmik Grigorian returns to this year’s festival to reprise the role. The Lithuanian soprano will also join Franz Welser-Möst, Matthias Goerne and the Wiener Philharmoniker for two performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14.
The festival’s resident orchestra, the Wiener Philharmoniker, will give eleven concert performances in addition to working on several opera productions. Bernard Haitink will lead two of these performances, conducting Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with soloist Murray Perahia, and Bruckner Symphony No. 7.
Guest orchestras always feature at the festival, with this year’s visitors including the SWR Sinfonieorchester, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Replacing an indisposed Mariss Jansons, Yannick Nézet-Séguin will lead the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks’ two performances: the first featuring works by Beethoven and Shostakovich; the second, Sibelius, Prokofiev and Strauss with violinist Lisa Batiashvili.
As part of the festival’s focus on Pascal Dusapin, renowned contemporary and French music interpreter Franck Ollu conducts Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and soprano Jennifer France in a concert performance of the composer’s dramatic opera Medematerial.
In addition to two revivals and two opera in concert performances, the festival will stage a total of five new productions, several featuring AH artists:
Christopher Maltman takes on the title role of Enescu’s rarely performed Œdipe, with new direction by Achim Freyer. Christopher has performed several title roles at the festival, including Don Giovanni and Harrison Birtwistle’s Gawain and has previously said, “There are few greater privileges in opera than taking the title role in a Salzburg Festival production.”
Enrique Mazzola will make his festival debut, conducting Barrie Kosky’s new production of Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers. Enrique leads a cast that includes Anne Sofie von Otter, Kathryn Lewek and Joel Prieto. The performances begin just two weeks after the finale of Rigoletto at the Bregenz Festival.
Rosa Feola makes her operatic debut at this year’s festival portraying Dircé in Simon Stone’s new production of Cherubini’s Médée. Rosa last performed at the festival in 2017, where she sang Mozart Mass in C minor with Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and Ivor Bolton.
Jonathan Lemalu will perform Nettuno / La voce in a new production of Idomeneo by Peter Sellars. The performances mark Jonathan’s festival debut, although he has sung the role in the Austrian city before; with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker at the 2004 Easter Festival.
You can find full details of all performances on the Salzburg Festival website. You can also watch a trailer for this year’s festival below.