Tchaikovsky and Pushkin to take center stage at two Easter Festivals

Program 2021 and 2022 announced - pre sales from March 18th 2021

Photo that shows © Algirdas Bakas 20 Groß. © Algirdas Bakas
© Algirdas Bakas

The Baden-Baden Easter Festival will be taking place after all with a shortened program from May 6 to 9, 2021. Festspielhaus Artistic Director Benedikt Stampa, Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker Andrea Zietzschmann, principal cellist and member of the orchestra’s Media Board Olaf Maninger, and Chief Conductor Kirill Petrenko announced this today (March 12, 2021) in press conference.

Next year the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden will celebrate the Easter Festival with the Berliner Philharmoniker from April 9 to 18, 2022. The program, which was also announced today, will feature two Tchaikovsky operas: The Queen of Spades in a new production by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier and a concert-version performance of Iolanta.

Key works by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky will be heard in concerts by the Berliner Philharmoniker, including The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, and The Firebird. With Asmik Grigorian, Anna Netrebko, and Sonya Yoncheva, three of the most sought-after sopranos of our time will be coming to Baden-Baden in 2022 along with other leading soloists.

Mazeppa with a special cast

"Despite the uncertain situation, it is particularly important to me to be able to present Tchaikovsky's rarely-performed opera Mazeppa this spring in Baden-Baden with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Kirill Petrenko, and a wonderful cast," says Benedikt Stampa. The singers of all the leading roles, including Olga Peretyatko (Maria) and Vladislav Sulimsky (Mazeppa), have already confirmed their participation.

Kirill Petrenko, Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, adds: “Almost exactly a year ago, it first became clear that we could not celebrate our usual Easter Festival. This year, we have put everything in motion – moved mountains nearly – to play an opera in Baden-Baden. We even stretch the calender and shift Easter into May”.

If the state ordinance in Baden-Württemberg allows, the opera will be performed in front of an audience in concerts on May 6 and 9. The program will also include two concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker on May 7 and 8, 2021. "We are very happy that, together with the team from the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, we are able to present a compact and attractive festival program this May featuring Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, chamber music, and symphony concerts," says Andrea Zietzschmann, Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. “The residency, which has been a bit shortened this year, gives the Berliner Philharmoniker the opportunity to finally see their loyal audience in Baden-Baden again. I am also extremely excited looking ahead to the 2022 Easter Festival with the continuation of the biennial focus on Russia, which will include Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades and a splendid overall program." Advance ticket sales for the May 2021 program are set to begin on April 9, 2021. Advance ticket sales for the 2022 Easter Festival will begin on March 18, 2021.

The Queen of Spades and the awakening of spring

"Few cities are a better match for Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades than Baden-Baden," says Benedikt Stampa. The drama about the secret of always winning at card games, over which the protagonist Herman eventually despairs, is based on a story by Alexander Pushkin, who inspired many Russian writers who also regularly visited Baden-Baden – including Nikolai Gogol.

The second featured composer of the 2022 Baden-Baden Easter Festival is also connected with the former “summer capital of Europe”: Igor Stravinsky conducted several concerts of his own works here in the 1950s. His compositions The Rite of Spring, Petrushka, and The Firebird – interpreted by the Berliner Philharmoniker – will be presented at the 2022 Easter Festival.

HAUSFESTSPIEL (House Festival) live from Baden-Baden on the internet during the 2021 Easter holidays

During the 2021 Easter holidays (April 1–5) the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden will be continuing its HAUSFESTSPIEL, live-streamed for free on the internet. Members of the Berliner Philharmoniker will also be guests at the festival along with other soloists. The Berliner Philharmoniker and Kirill Petrenko can be heard in a major concert on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 5pm on Arte. Works by Peter Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff will be presented in a concert from the Philharmonie Berlin recorded on March 20. Olaf Maninger, principal cellist and member of the Media Board of the Berliner Philharmoniker, comments: “We are very happy to take part in a digital Easter greeting from Baden-Baden with some of our chamber music ensembles. Arte, one of our long-standing close media partners, will broadcast a recorded concert from the Philharmonie Berlin on Easter Sunday, for which we are very grateful. In this way the Berliner Philharmoniker can be experienced, at least on screen, at Easter time this year."

All information also at www.festspielhaus.de/en

Updated: 3/19/2021