The festival started on Saturday with performances of”Elektra,” the opera by Richard Strauss, directed by poland’s Krzysztof Warlikowski.
August 2, 2020 8h13
The start of the 100th edition of the Salzburg festival
VIENNA — The 100th edition of the music festival, and opera theatre of Salzburg (Austria), escaping to a global wave of cancellations, has opened its doors this weekend, with many protective measures against the coronavirus.
The festival started on Saturday with performances of”Elektra,” the opera by Richard Strauss, directed by the Polish Krzysztof Warlikowski, and the play “Everyman”, played every year since the inception of the event.
The piece was to be played outside on the square of the Cathedral of Salzburg, but a thunderstorm forced play indoors, the spectators, masked with difficulties to comply with the safety distances going to sit, according to the local press.
The organizers have promised to respect the sanitary measures strict to this stripped-down version of the festival — 110 shows are scheduled for later in August, down from 200 initially.
The 80 000 tickets sold — against 230 000 in other years — are customized to allow for a tracing of contacts in the event of contamination.
Spectators must wear a mask until they can be seated, and there will be no intermission or restoration.
The artists who cannot respect a distance of at least a meter with their colleagues, as the musicians of the orchestra, must undergo regular screening tests for the coronavirus.
The program included the first performance of a piece of the Nobel prize for literature, austrian Peter Handke and another opera, “Cosi fan tutte” by Mozart, directed by German Christof Loy.
Austria has been relatively little affected by the pandemic, with some 21 000 cases reported officially and about 700 deaths.
But contaminations are on the rise, these past few weeks, since the removal of most of the severe restrictions put in place in the spring.
Many infections have recently been detected around the picturesque lake Wolfgang, less than 50 km from Salzburg.
But the authorities ensure that the epidemic is under control in the country of nearly nine million inhabitants.