Bregenz Festival: The cultural highlight at Lake Constance
For the 74th time this year, Bregenz and Lake Constance will serve as the backdrop for the annual Bregenz Festival in the summer months of July and August. From 17 July to 18 August 2019, Bregenz is transformed into an artistic spectacle of unique performances such as music theatre, concerts and drama. In spectacular productions, the audience from all over the world is offered 80 different events, which provide unforgettable moments. Surrounded by the impressive mountain scenery, the stage set, which is adapted to the lake, blends year after year with nature and becomes the temporary second landmark of Bregenz.
Festival with 70 years of tradition
In 1946, only one year after the end of World War II, the first Bregenz Festival took place. Since Bregenz had no theatre at that time, Lake Constance served as a stage. Initially only chosen as an emergency solution, the choice of Lake Constance turned out to be decisive for its success and made the festival unique in the world. With the founding of the Bregenz Festival Community in 1950, the event got permanent organisers who continuously developed the Festival.
In the course of the 1950s to 1970s, the Kornmarkttheater was opened and the stage program expanded, which extended the festival period year after year. Inaugurated in 1979, the new lake stage consists of a concrete core in the centre, which houses the necessary infrastructure for the festival and the orchestra pit. The construction offers numerous possibilities for unusual stage sets, which are offered to the spectators year after year on the lake stage. With the opening of the Festspiel- und Kongresshaus in 1980, some of the spectators were able to enjoy a performance for the first time even in bad weather.
Since 1985 the plays have been performed on the lake stage for two years in a row. Thus, the elaborate stage designs could be constantly developed and presented to an even larger audience in more performances. The musical West Side Story and the opera Zauberflöte were particularly successful in 2003 and 2004, respectively in 2013 and 2014. Both performances attracted over 200,000 visitors each in two years.
Tip: Tickets for the 2020 season of the Bregenz Festival will be available from August 18, 2019 from 9 p.m. onwards. Premiere, Premium and Lounge tickets will be available from October 7, 2019. For further information on the programme and price categories, please visit the website bregenzerfestspiele.com.
Especially the unique productions on the lake stage are the annual highlight of the festival and usually sold out after a short time. But also the other events are always well attended and it is worth buying tickets in time. To experience the spectacular Bregenz Festival, we recommend you therefore to buy your tickets early.
This year, as well as next year, Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto will be performed on the lake stage. Thanks to its elaborate stage design, the opera will thrill the audience in front of the breath-taking scenery of Lake Constance. Look forward to the Bregenz Festival 2020 and enjoy a musical evening in an unforgettable atmosphere.
Programme highlights 2019
Once again this year, the programme of the Bregenz Festival offers its audience unforgettable moments. The various venues - the lake stage, the Festspielhaus, the theatre at the Kornmarkt, the Seestudio and the Werkstattbühne - present a variety of performances of the highest cultural quality.
This year, Verdi's opera Rigoletto will delight 7000 spectators per day in the production of Philipp Stölzl. Months in advance, the elaborate stage set was created with a 14-metre-high clown's head depicting the image of the court jester Rigoletto. In the play Rigoletto amuses himself about the generous life of his duke, whom he supports in his conquests. The production emphasizes Verdi's unique contrasts between great spectacle and intimate chamber play and offers a truly captivating event.
DON QUICHOTTE AND DON QUIJOTE
At the Bregenz Festival you will experience the opera Don Quichotte as well as the play Don Quijote in a unique atmosphere. Jules Massenet's opera is presented in French with German surtitles in five acts and Don Quijote becomes a passionate lover through the French composer. He returns her stolen jewellery to his beloved Dulcinée from the hands of the robbers, who nevertheless rejects his marriage proposal. In an interplay of fantasy and reality, the composer lends the dramatic situations his own musical style. Under the musical direction of Antonio Fogliani, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonic Choir enchant the audience.
The play Don Quijote comes from the novel of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes and is performed here by the German Theatre of Berlin. In the play, an impoverished Junker takes on the role of a knight to defend his fellow men against evil forces and to ensure justice. The staging is both a theatrical and socio-political role play that focuses on the question of the appeal of being someone else.
The Prague Philharmonic Choir celebrates its ten-year participation in the Bregenz Festival with Verdi's unique Messa da Requiem. On two consecutive days the former chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Fabio Luisi, and the current conductor, Philippe Jordan, will present all four symphonies by Johannes Brams. The Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, on the other hand, is dedicated to the opera Don Quichotte.
CONCERT IN THE KUB
The concert at Kunsthaus Bregenz introduces the world of the composer Alexander Moosbrugger from Vorarlberg, who is composing his first opera. The concert presents the musical cosmos of Moosbrugger, who specially chooses music by Bach, Saunders and himself for the special acoustics in the Kunsthaus.
The music-theatrical installation Wunderwandelwelt (Éphémère Enchainé) will premiere on two evenings at the Bregenz Festival on the Werkstattbühne. Francois Sarhan enchants his audience with his extraordinary compilation of music, stories, images and films and seduces the audience with real and deceptively real stories, mysterious figures and mysterious sounds.
Recommendation for an unforgettable stay
Surrounded by the Bregenz Forest is the Romantik Hotel Das Schiff in Hittisau, only half an hour away from the Bregenz Festival. Thanks to its location, the hotel is an ideal starting point for the festival and at the same time offers the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful nature of the region in an exclusive atmosphere. Since its foundation in 1840, the Romantik Hotel Das Schiff has offered its guests an unforgettable stay in an elegant ambience. The hotel's own restaurant complements the offer with real moments of pleasure and successfully combines traditional with modern as well as international with regional cuisine.
In addition to a stay at the Romantik Hotel Das Schiff, you can also visit the Romantik Restaurant Altes Gericht in the Bregenz region. The restaurant is only about 25 minutes away from the Bregenz Festival in Sulz and is therefore an ideal culinary highlight before a performance. The Romantik Restaurant Altes Gericht is located in a house dating from the 13th century, which has been completely renovated and has five rooms on two floors. There you will find an excellent and varied cuisine with a focus on Lake Constance.