A national taboo, two traumatised people, and young voices

Music theatre at the Workshop Theatre and the Kornmarkt

Bregenz, 29.7.16. After the two big opera premieres on the lake stage and at the Festspielhaus, the contemporary music theatre programme at the Workshop Theatre kicks off on Tuesday with Staatsoperette – Die Austrotragödie by Otto M. Zykan. The two performances of this world premiere production are already sold out. Then in the final week of the festival, Miroslav Srnka's new chamber opera Make no noise will be staged for the first time in Austria. Tickets are still available for the two performances, on 17 and 19 August. The festival's Opera Studio will present Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Kornmarkt Theatre also in the final week.

Bregenz Festival is offering insights into the rehearsals for Staatsoperette – Die Austrotragödie and Don Giovanni. They will be followed by a short press conference with the artists and representatives of the festival; members of the production team for Make no noise are also expected to attend.

An “Austrotragedy” at the Workshop Theatre

A new piece of music theatre, Staatsoperette – Die Austrotragödie, will be given its world premiere at Bregenz Festival. It draws on a film with the same title that was screened on Austrian TV (ORF) in 1977 and touched on what was then a "national taboo" (Club2). It caused such a scandal that it was never broadcast again. In the film, composer Otto M. Zykan and TV producer Franz Novotny cast garish light on the period between the two world wars and the emergence of Austrian fascism. The film has now been adapted for the stage by Michael Mautner and Irene Suchy and will be directed at the Workshop Theatre by Bregenz-born Simon Meusburger. The political leaders of the period will all be represented by puppets made by Nikolaus Habjan, winner of Austria's Nestroy theatre prize. The show premieres on 2 August and will have a second performance.

Two damaged individuals open up to each other

As well as giving a recital in the Music & Poetry section, Measha Brueggergosman can be seen in the main role of Hanna in Miroslav Srnka's chamber opera Make no noise, which will be staged at the Workshop Theatre in its first ever production in Austria. The opera is based on Isabel Coixet's film The secret life of words from 2005, which is about two physically and psychologically scarred people who nevertheless tentatively enter into a relationship with one another. The male lead role of Joseph will be played by Holger Falk and the orchestra is Ensemble Modern. The premiere is on 17 August with a further performance on the 19th.

Young voices

The Opera Studio -- inaugurated last summer by the new artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka -- enters its second season this year, with another opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte. In the Opera Studio the young singers develop a production of Don Giovanni with conductor Hartmut Keil and director Barbara Wysocka. Like last year, the singers will benefit from top-class instruction by Brigitte Fassbaender as part of a master class. The cooperation partner is the international singing competition NEUE STIMMEN, founded by the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Arrivederci, Amleto!

“All that an opera lover's heart desires: Hamlet by Franco Faccio is a sensational opera discovery,” wrote the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about this year's opera at the Festspielhaus. The highly regarded newspaper was not alone in its enthusiasm: the three performances of the opera – in a staging by Olivier Tambosi – were completely sold out, playing to a total audience of 4,612.

The final performance took place yesterday evening. It is as yet undecided whether the Bregenz Festival's staging of this rediscovered work will travel to other opera houses. Enquiries were certainly received from other artistic directors after the great success of the premiere.

Other Bregenz Festival events were also sold out: the first concert by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra last Sunday, as well as the first event in the Music & Poetry programme, to which 303 seats were sold, the highest number ever recorded for that programme.

The 2016 Bregenz Festival runs from 20 July to 21 August. For tickets and information, please visit www.bregenzerfestspiele.com or call tel. 0043 5574 4076.


Press spokesman Axel Renner and artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka