Final Report on the 2019 Salzburg Festival

52 days ago, the premiere of Jedermann and Lagrime di San Pietro at the Kollegienkirche marked the beginning of the Ouverture spirituelle and thus the Festival summer. Now is the time to reflect and report on this summer,
which focused on the myths of antiquity.


Médée 2019: Elena Stikhina (Médée), Photo SF/Thomas Aurin

“With the help of art, we proved this summer that studying the myths of antiquity does not mean wallowing in the ancient past. On the contrary, myths allow us to fully focus on today’s world.


Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler, Photo SF/Doris Wild & Team

Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser thus follows in the footsteps of Festival founder Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who considered myths a magical mirror for the great subjects of our existence: love and death, war and exile, crime and redemption. Peter Sellars set the tone in a double sense – delivering the keynote address and directing our opening opera premiere, Idomeneo – and this has brought us plentiful encouragement over the past weeks. What remains is to express our gratitude: to the artists who made this summer so great, and to the audience which accompanied us faithfully and enthusiastically on new pathway, with new interpretations and new works,” says Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler.


Médée 2019: Elena Stikhina (Médée), Pavel Černoch (Jason)

“We are delighted with this third Festival season of our Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser. He is unequalled in developing an artistically outstanding programme which also meets all economic expectations. This season 270,584 tickets were issued, reflecting a 97% ratio of occupied seats, equal to the past season.


Lukas Crepaz, Photo SF/Franz Neumayr

More than 50,000 opera lovers also attended the Siemens Festival Nights – our public screening of operas on Kapitelplatz. Moreover, during the Festival period alone, 2.5 million viewers followed our TV and radio broadcasts. At 31.2 million Euros, ticket revenues of the past years were once again exceeded by 3%. This will help us with the great challenges that lie ahead: the necessary general overhaul of the Festspielhäuser as well as the Festival’s centenary next year,” says the Festival’s Executive Director, Lukas Crepaz.


Oedipe 2019: Christopher Maltman (Oedipe), Photo SF/Monika Rittershaus

“To my delight, our open-minded, interested public flocked to the impressive drama productions, which were very different in concept, but all offered outstanding acting, to the high-carat readings, the diverse and insightful ‘Investigations’ and the extraordinary installation by Ruth Beckermann.


Bettina Hering, Photo SF/Wildbild

This enthusiasm also extended to this year’s Jedermann, in which Tobias Moretti was the central figure, flanked by many new cast members, all of whom offered a profound performance which met with wildly enthusiastic resonance. The vivid and intense reflections of all the artists in their productions and formats was mirrored by the audience, resulting in a dynamic Festival summer full of discourse,” says the Director of Drama, Bettina Hering.


Peter Sellars, Photo SF/Ruth Walz

“Launching this year’s Salzburg Festival, the Ouverture spirituelle focused on musical tears. With the wonderful choral work Lagrime di San Pietro, rendered by Peter Sellars’ production and the expressive interpretation by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, as well as many other concerts, we invited the audience to experience the sound of lamentation, grief and consolation with us, in works ranging from the renaissance to our own times. Unexpected juxtapositions of early and new music, of familiar pieces and works meriting discovery in new interpretations, and unusual encounters were characteristic for the entire concert programme, once again enabling us to listen in a new and different manner.

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Florian Wiegand, Photo SF/Marco Borrelli

We are grateful to the wonderful artists who challenged and inspired us with their unconventional perspectives on these works – and to our audience, which once again embarked with us upon this musical journey of discovery with curiosity and attentiveness, taking the time to explore the sounds of George Enescu and Pascal Dusapin,” says Florian Wiegand, Director of Concerts and Media.


Idomeneo 2019: Jonathan Lemalu (Nettuno / La voce), Levy Sekgapane (Arbace), Nicole Chevalier (Elettra), Russell Thomas (Idomeneo), Ying Fang (Ilia), Paula Murrihy (Idamante), Photo SF/Ruth Walz

Young Singers Project

This year, 13 young vocalists from eleven nations participated in the Young Singers Project. Its goal is to offer young talents not only musical training and repertoire expansion as well as lessons in stage work, but also an opportunity to attend rehearsals and work with Salzburg Festival artists. Its master classes and practical orientation make the YSP training programme an international model and benchmark. The audience is invited to observe the young singers’ progress: for example in the public master classes given by KS Christa Ludwig, Anne Sofie von Otter and Prof. Helmut Deutsch, but also in the children’s opera, the world premiere of Der Gesang der Zauberinsel. The highlight was the final concert of the Young Singers, offering a diverse programme highlighting the vocal qualities of each participant. Since 2008 a total of 157 young singers from 41 countries have been given this career opportunity.


Idomeneo 2019: Nicole Chevalier (Elettra), Paula Murrihy (Idamante), musicAeterna Choir of Perm Opera

The 2019 Salzburg Festival

199 Performances in 43 Days at 16 Venues
Opera: 42 Performances
5 New Productions
2 Concert Performances
2 Revivals
Drama: 55 Performances
4 New Productions
Revival of Jedermann
4 Drama Investigations
4 Readings
81 Concerts


Adriana Lecouvreur 2019: Anna Netrebko (Adriana Lecouvreur), Photo SF/Marco Borrelli

Staged Performance (Orlando di Lasso: Lagrime di San Pietro / Peter Sellars)
Opera in Concert (Pascal Dusapin: Medeamaterial)
70 Concerts
4 Master Classes
5 Special Concerts
Gala Soiree
20 Performances of the Children’s Programme
8 Performances of the children’s opera Der Gesang der Zauberinsel
8 Introductory Workshops Fun and Games
4 Public Final Performances of the Opera Camps


Alcina 2019: Cecilia Bartoli (Alcina), Photo SF/Matthias Horn

Joyful Joyce – An Installation by Ruth Beckermann
Photography Exhibition Pascal Dusapin
6 Screenings of the Film Medea (Pier Paolo Pasolini, featuring Maria Callas, 1969)


Orphée aux enfers 2019: Marcel Beekman (Aristée / Pluton), Photo SF/Monika Rittershaus

Summer Revenue

€ 31.2 million overall (gross)
~ 231,275 at regular events (current as of 28 Aug.)
5,338 at 3 sold-out dress rehearsals
4,596 at the exhibition Joyful Joyce
14,648 at 49 special events
(master classes, Festival Opening Party etc.)
14,727 at 19 ticketed rehearsals and dress rehearsals
At 97%, the percentage of seats occupied will equal the previous year’s result.
Provenance of Visitors
78 Nations, of which
40 Non-European Nations
This year, the Press Office accredited 650 journalists from 35 countries.


Simon Boccanegra 2019: André Heyboer (Paolo Albiani), Charles Castronovo (Gabriele Adorno), Marina Rebeka (Amelia Grimaldi), Luca Salsi (Simon Boccanegra), Antonio Di Matteo (Pietro), René Pape (Jacopo Fiesco),  Photo SF/ Ruth Walz

Our special gratitude also goes to more than 6,500 Friends of the Salzburg Festival all over the world. No other festival in the world has such a large and faithful association of friends.


Simon Boccanegra 2019: Luca Salsi (Simon Boccanegra)

The Association supports the Festival’s programmes and enables the Festival to implement projects which have become part of the Festival’s identity, e.g. the Festival Opening Party or the initiative Festival Ticket = Bus Ticket, with which the Salzburg Festival wishes to send a strong signal in favour of public transport. Thanks to its ticket revenues and the many supporters mentioned above, the Salzburg Festival has an extraordinarily high level of self-financing, reaching more than 75%.


Salome 2019: John Daszak (Herodes), Asmik Grigorian (Salome), Photo SF/Ruth Walz

Thanks for financial support is also due to the public sector, which contributed a total of 13.44 million Euros to the Salzburg Festival’s overall 2019 budget of 61.76 million Euros. In particular, government funders include: The Republic of Austria,
The State of Salzburg, The City of Salzburg, and the Salzburg Tourism Board, which supports the Salzburg Festival with 3.36 million Euros annually.


Markus Hinterhauser, Photo SF/Neumayr / Leo

International Recordings and Broadcasts of Festival Productions

Together with Unitel, the exclusive audio-visual media partner of the Salzburg Festival, 5 productions (three operas and two concerts) were recorded in co-production with ORF, ZDF, 3sat, arte, Servus TV and the Japanese television broadcaster NHK. In Austria, Germany and France alone, the Salzburg productions of Orphée aux enfers, Idomeneo and the concert of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim were followed by almost a million viewers.


Luisa Miller 2019: Nino Machaidze (Luisa), Photo SF/ Marco Borrelli

“MediciTV”, “takt1” and “myfidelio” offered live streams of several productions. In addition, the recorded Salzburg productions will be added to the corresponding catalogues over the course of the coming weeks. ORF Radio broadcast 23 recordings, 4 of them opera productions and 19 concerts.


Riccardo Muti, Photo SF/ Marco Borrelli

Thanks to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) partner stations, these were transmitted to approximately 30 countries. This means that approximately 1.7 million music fans are reached by each concert / opera. All this makes the Salzburg Festival the most broadly disseminated classical music festival on television and radio airwaves.

(After Press Materials)

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