In its 90th season, the Salzburg Festival has lost nothing of its vitality, with an average of five events of opera, theatre and concert every day over a period of five weeks from late July to the end of August involving the world's greatest artists.
Yet, even with this busy schedule, staff and artists are never shy to take on another obligation for a good cause, as we saw yesterday. As a reaction to the situation in Pakistan, the only available off-night in one of the festival theatres was turned into a benefit concert for the victims of the flood disaster, organised and completely sold out in only three days. All artists performed for free and the entire proceeds will go to a charitable organisation active in the flood areas. A number of the greatest German actors read poetry from the region, some of the poems eight hundred years old, but still very powerful. The festival's most prestigious singers didn't stand back and we were treated to Mikhail Petrenko's Basilio, Anna Netrebko and Erwin Schrott as Adina and Dulcamara, Piotr Beczala as Roméo and Rodolfo, just to name a few. What could be a better argument for the relevance of the arts today?
Right before, in the early evening, we had attended the final concert of this year's Young Singers Project. In its third year the festival's summer program has launched a few remarkable talents. Out of a group of ten there were again a few truly remarkable talents from all over the world, two of them members of the young artists program at the Paris Opera during my time there. The singers are selected by Jürgen Flimm, the festival's Artistic Director, mezzo-soprano Marjana Lipovsek (the director of the program) and my mentor and good friend Evamaria Wieser (the festival's Artistic Administrator). The head coach of the program is our wonderful Canadian Rachel Andrist. After more then ten years in Europe she will return to Canada next week and become part of our music staff at the COC.
On another note, Rachel also prepared one of our Ensemble Studio sopranos who we sent to Salzburg last week to audition for Riccardo Muti. She got an important cover assignment at the Rome Opera with the Maestro conducting. I couldn't be prouder.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
Follow Alexander Neef on
Follow the COC on Twitter