The curtain rises again – new hopes with Beethoven and Puccini

The Festspielhaus is focusing on July and is applying to be a model for more than 250 guests

Photo that shows Yannick Nézet Séguin 011618 2330A C Rose Callahan. © Rose Callahan
© Rose Callahan

With the complete symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden looks forward to resuming its performance schedule at the beginning of July 2021 after a pandemic-enforced lockdown of more than seven months. "We hope that we will be able to play again in front of 500 people in around four weeks’ time and, together with the city of Baden-Baden, have submitted the corresponding model proposal to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs," says Artistic Director Benedikt Stampa.

At the moment the current state ordinance allows a maximum of 250 visitors inside the building, regardless of the size of the hall, with a stable incidence of less than 100 in four weeks. Stampa does not wish to accept this: “We showed last autumn that our hygiene concept works. The majority of our guests are now vaccinated. Why should we then play in front of fewer guests than seven months ago in Germany's largest opera house?" Preparations for the resumption of performances are in full swing. “But we also need a confirmation very soon in order to be able to play in front of 500 guests in July. In view of the large halls in Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland that have already been open since mid-May, we believe that there is now a need for swift action.”

Curtain rises again with Met star

The music director of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe are set to perform Beethoven's complete symphonies in Baden-Baden from July 2 to 10.

Schubert's Winterreise with womanpower

In addition to the Beethoven cycle, there is to be another highlight on July 3: Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the piano! He will be accompanying the incomparable mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in Schubert's Winterreise. The American mezzo-soprano has found a very specific approach to her interpretation: “The girl spoke of love” – she is the wife, the widow. She remembers her beloved, relives his experience through his diary and gives it expression in her singing.

Grand opera: The Mariinsky Theater with Tosca

Later in July, the artistic director is looking forward to the Mariinsky Theater from St. Petersburg with its summer guest performance: “I met Valery Gergiev in Munich last week. All the artists in St. Petersburg are very much looking forward to Baden-Baden and are doing their utmost to be back on stage here again with Puccini's Tosca.” The performance at the end of July is also to set be broadcast as a video live stream in the Baden-Baden Kurgarten, with the corresponding official approval.

Advance ticket sales for the events in the first half of July are to begin on June 3 at the latest, after which the Festspielhaus will also announce the program details. Advance ticket sales for the other July performances will start in mid-June.

With the timing outlined in the state ordinance, it is now clear that there will be no events in the Festspielhaus in June. "It will be at least mid-June until we have reached the incidence that, according to current regulations, would allow indoor events," says the artistic director. The concert with jazz trumpeter Till Brönner planned for June 5 will be postponed to December 3, 2021. A new date is currently being sought for soprano Sonya Yoncheva (June 12) as well. Other concerts had already been removed from the program due to travel and quarantine regulations, including the concert with the Orquestra Gulbenkian from Lisbon.

All ticket holders will be contacted again individually.

Updated: 5/29/2021