The Salzburg Festival’s youth programme

“Oh, if only I had believed my daughter!” laments the father. After all, she had warned him about the king’s suspiciousness. When her father discovers a valuable object, the king accuses him of keeping a part of it for himself. The father is promptly thrown in prison. Hearing his cries of woe, the king summons the man’s daughter. He poses three riddles, which she solves without difficulty. Impressed by her cleverness, he takes her as his wife. But when she exposes another error of judge­ment by the king, he casts her out and allows her to take only “what her heart holds most dear” with her… Nine performers and an orchestra of 15 musicians will explore pressing questions of justice and injustice, power and powerlessness for a young audience.

Ursula Gessat, Education Manager of the Salzburg Festival (left) with director Giulia Giammona (centre) and Selina Nowak (sets and costumes) during the concept meeting on the stage sets for Carl Orff’s  Die Kluge, photo SF/ Leo Neumayr

Die Kluge is the third opera for children produced by Ursula Gessat, education manager of the Salzburg Festival since 2021, at artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser’s behest.

Wilfried Hiller and Paul Leonard Schäffer created a new, reduced musical version of Carl Orff’s opera in 2019 for a smaller orchestra, and this new production is based on this. Armela Madreiter adapted the libretto, which the composer Carl Orff wrote based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy-tale The Peasant’s Wise Daughter. After the productions WUT, Ping Pong and Fiesta, this is the fourth time she is collaborating on the Salzburg Festival’s youth programme.

On 26 July, the new production of Die Kluge premieres at the Schauspielhaus Salzburg; nine further performances follow through 25 August. Giulia Giammona directs; the German conductor Anna Handler conducts. The roles will be embodied by participants of the Young Singers Project. Introductory workshops entitled Let’s Play Opera precede the performances.

Conductor Anna Handler (left) and director Giulia Giammona

The Drama Camp allows theatre-loving teenagers aged 14 to 19 to delve into a work and the themes of one of the Salzburg Festival’s drama productions, spending a week in daily workshops and rehearsals on a rehearsal stage and delving into the topics of the drama production Sternstunden der Menschheit.

The popular School Programme and the mobile productions entitled From Abtenau to Zell am See will feature the musical theatre work Zeitzone JETZT and the drama for children Liebe Grüße … oder Wohin das Leben fällt. In this way, students experience music and theatre directly. Both pieces are about topics such as friendship, love, care and loss. In the summer, both productions will be performed at the Schauspielhaus.

Figaro Camp 2023: With young participants, members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the stage orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, and its Angelika Prokopp Summer Academy, photo SF/Borrelli

Opera Camps will focus on Capriccio, Der Idiot and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Children and teenagers aged 9 to 17 will spend a week staying at Arenberg Castle with full board and accommodation, playing and singing and delving into the world of opera, and ultimately presenting their own new interpretation, developed with members of the Vienna Philharmonic and pedagogues.

The Festival Mentorships already proved a success last year and continues: experienced Festival visitors take on a mentorship for young adults aged 16 to 26 who have never attended a Salzburg Festival performance.

6,000 youth tickets for young people to opera, drama and concert performances are available with discounts of up to 90 percent for teenagers and young adults under 27.

(After Press materials)

Marijan Zlobec

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