19 events this week
Quote of the Week
“A festival is a unique occasion for meeting different people and different cultures. Together with artists who are real masters of communication through art, a festival is a strong builder of bridges between different cultures - and even between civilizations."
Ján Figel’, former European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Youth
Magic Moments at the 2011 Innsbruck Festival from 10 to 28 August
Innsbruck, Friday, 05-08-2011
With a focus on baroque music from German lands at the 2011 Innsbruck Festival, artistic director Alessandro de Marchi also throws light on revolutionary political and social events that impacted on the lives and work of the musicians of that time: Georg Philipp Telemann, for example, was the first composer to self-confidently represent the rising bourgeoisie in cities like Frankfurt and Hamburg with his music. The imposing church music and magnificent operas by George Frederic Handel (both in Italy and in London) and Johann Adolph Hasse (in Italy, Dresden and for the Habsburgs in Austria) on the other hand, reflected the refined rule of the church and nobility. A composer of the likes of Heinrich Schütz used mighty and splendid musical means to raise voices in song against the Thirty Years’ War and its repercussions while Dietrich Buxtehude provided the believers of the Reformed faith in Germany’s upper north with music for contemplation. Finally, Johann Sebastian Bach set the conditions of musical performance practice against new artistic and intellectual demands that apply to this day.
Alessandro De Marchi has been active as an opera conductor at the great German opera houses in Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin for many years. For the 2011 Innsbruck Festival he rediscovers Georg Philipp Telemann’s opera seria “Flavius Bertaridus, König der Langobarden” [King of the Lombards], which was first performed in Hamburg in 1729. Johann Adolph Hasse’s opera “Romolo ed Ersilia”, to be conducted by Attilio Cremonesi, provides a link to the musical history of Innsbruck, where the work was first performed in 1765. It had been commissioned by Empress Maria Theresia on the occasion of Archduke Leopold’s wedding with the Spanish Princess Maria Ludovica. Both operas will premiere as new productions at the 2011 Innsbruck Festival. Telemann’s opera is a co-production between the Innsbruck Festival and the Hamburg State Opera. Besides these two exciting games of power and love and the power of love, the first BAROQUE OPERA:YOUNG with selected singers from last year’s Singing Competition for Baroque Opera Pietro Antonio Cesti also promises to be a pinnacle: in Francesco Cavalli’s Italian operatic comedy “La Calisto”, the father of the gods, Jupiter, ends up immortalising the nymph he desires as the star sign of the Great Bear in the sky. The musical direction of Cavalli’s work is in the able hands of the Italian Andrea Marchiol, an opera veteran. Another baroque opera will be performed in the scope of the 2011 Festival concerts. Telemann’s musical comedy “Pimpinone oder die Ungleiche Heirat” [Pimpinone, or The Unequal Marriage], first performed in 1725 in Hamburg as a comic interlude for Handel’s opera “Tamerlano”, will be shown in a semi-concertante version on the stage of the Spanish Hall at Ambras Castle. This production is further evidence of the success of last year’s Cesti competition in that the female lead will be sung by Marie-Sophie Pollak, one of the finalists of the 2010 competition.
With reference to the operas, the Ambras Castle Concerts and the Festival concerts present baroque music mainly from German lands and from some neighbouring countries. The complex music of several centuries, from the French Flemish Renaissance masters through to the fore-runners of the classical period, is linked beyond time on account of the great synthesis of emotive expression and ingenious compositional technique, of affect and contrapuntal style. Music in which the soul and the mind, the world of emotion and of thought become one. The 2011 programme is a cornucopia of cantatas by Handel, Telemann, Buxtehude and A. Scarlatti, with several members of the Bach family, as well as Biber, Schmelzer, Froberger and Benda leaving their mark in the form of instrumental masterpieces. Furthermore, Gregorian music is on the agenda as well as magnificent vocal polyphony by Isaac, Vaet, Schütz, Handel and J. S. Bach. Interpreters
Attempting to afford the audience pinnacles, original orchestras such as the Academia Montis Regalis, Café Zimmermann, Ensemble Astrée, the vocal Dufay Ensemble Freiburg, The Rare Fruits Council ensemble, the Tölz Boys’ Choir, Moderntimes_1800 and soloists including singers Bettina Pahn, Robin Johannsen, Maîte Beaumont, Mariselle Martinez, Nina Bernsteiner, Ann-Beth Solvang, Anna Gorbachyova (winner of last year’s Cesti competition) and Antonio Abete, as well as violinists Midori Seiler and Manfredo Kraemer, flautist Linde Brunmayr-Tutz and – not only as musical directors but also as harpsichordists – Alessandro De Marchi, Attilio Cremonesi and Giorgio Tabacco will be performing during the Festival summer of 2011.
In 2011, Stams Monastery and the Wilten collegiate church are once more included in the list of historical locations that provide the distinctive ambience for concert performances of the Innsbruck Festival. The central venue will once again be the Renaissance castle Ambras, home to the incomparable Spanish Hall and St Nicholas Chapel. Other concert venues include the well-known Silver Chapel and the Giant Hall of the Imperial Palace. New additions this year are the Guards’ Hall and the Gothic Cellar of the Imperial Palace, the Baroque Hall in Grand Hotel Europa, and the inner courtyard of the Theological Faculty, serving as an open-air arena. Two opera productions and the Open Mind concert will take place in the modern building of the Tiroler Landestheater.
An attractive range of side events will be held in public places in the town centre and in churches to accompany the Festival programme again in 2011. Halfway through the Festival, the traditional castle feast will take place at Ambras Castle.