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Eight festivals to lead the way into the future

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The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is organizing eight festivals with a new thematic focus in 2022 as it reinvents itself, in the spirit of its founding idea, with a host of international music stars. Today (November 18, 2021), Artistic Director Benedikt Stampa presented the entire program year 2022: “We made use of the time of uncertainty during the pandemic to fundamentally reexamine ourselves and to prepare for the future. The idea of the festival, the Festspielhaus’s founding concept, will be brought back into the spotlight.”

Many artists from all over the world will join the Festspielhaus in embarking on this new path. “Everything good will remain,” says Stampa, “and our artist friends will become co-curators. The festival of the future is both a laboratory and a space for experiences, offering new ways to encounter music and theater and also the artists themselves. Baden-Baden – which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2021 – can carry the festival tradition founded by Hector Berlioz in the nineteenth century into the future,” says Stampa.


While the Easter Festival with the Berliner Philharmoniker and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko (April 9 to 18, 2022), which will feature Asmik Grigorian, Anna Netrebko, and Sonya Yoncheva, has already been announced, the following programs are new: Young audiences will get to enjoy a “Takeover” festival from February 4 to 6, 2022. Under the new festival name “Presence,” the Whitsun Festival from May 28 to June 6, 2022 will now be the residency of the SWR Symphonieorchester in Baden-Baden, where music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries will be heard alongside classics of the nineteenth century. In July, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe invite us from July 8 to 17, 2022 to “La Capitale d'Été” – the festival of Romanticism in Baden-Baden. Also in the summer, “BB Nights” will captivate audiences with shows and musicals. Disney's Beauty and the Beast will offer a foretaste from July 21 to 24, 2022. After the SWR3 New Pop Festival (September 15 to 17, 2022), the curtain will rise for the first time on “The World of John Neumeier,” the new dance festival (September 30 to October 9, 2022). The Autumn Festival from November 11 to 19 under the title “La Grande Gare” and featuring conductors Thomas Hengelbrock and Teodor Currentzis will be expressly European, before “Russian Winter,” an opera and ballet festival showcasing St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater, concludes the festival program year from December 20 to 27, 2022.

Stars and major orchestras

The main pillars of the Baden-Baden program continue to include classical music’s biggest stars. In 2022 they will be well represented by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Plácido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Jonas Kaufmann, Sonya Yoncheva, Sir Simon Rattle, Diana Damrau, and Rolando Villazón. Audiences will also get to enjoy a number of Festspielhaus debuts: Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian, who made her acclaimed first Bayreuth appearance in 2021 as Senta, will sing the role of Lisa in Tchaikovky's opera The Queen of Spades under Kirill Petrenko this Easter. Norwegian soprano Brigitte Christensen will make her Baden-Baden debut as Isolde alongside tenor Andreas Schager as Tristan in Richard Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde under the direction of Teodor Currentzis. In addition to the Berliner Philharmoniker, the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker, SWR Symphonieorchester, Balthasar Neumann Ensembles, and musicAeterna ensemble will be among the top orchestras that will be performing at the Baden-Baden festivals in 2022.

Operas by Tchaikovsky, Mascagni and Richard Wagner

Opera fans are in for a treat at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in 2022. Following the premiere of the new production of The Queen of Spades this Easter, the Festspielhaus will be presenting five further operas along with the first act of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre (June 5, 2022). Tchaikovsky's Iolanta (cond. Kirill Petrenko / April 17, 2022), Wagner's Das Rheingold under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin (April 30, 2022), Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana (cond. Thomas Hengelbrock / November 11 and 13, 2022), and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde (cond. Teodor Currentzis / November 17 and 20, 2022) will all be heard in concert versions. Shortly before Christmas, Valery Gergiev will present Peter Tchaikovsky’s opera The Maid of Orleans for the first time in the Festspielhaus (December 20 and 21, 2022) in a production by the Mariinsky Theater.

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Updated: 12/7/2021