Arrigo Boito's Opera "Nero" at the Festspielhaus
Bregenz, 13.5.19. In four weeks' time rehearsals begin for this year's Bregenz Festival. Meanwhile planning for the festival programme next year is almost complete. In summer 2020, the opera at the Festspielhaus will be Arrigo Boito's Nero (Nerone).
The opera, which was first staged at La Scala Milan in 1924, will premiere at Bregenz on 22 July 2020. There will be two further performances. Rigoletto, the opera on the lake stage, returns for its second season next year, premiering on 23 July 2020.
Spectacular display of power
One of the most notorious historical figures will tread the boards of the Festspielhaus stage: the Roman emperor Nero. In Arrigo Boito's opulent opera he appears as an enigmatic and unsavoury character: on the one hand focused on spectacular self-aggrandisement and the display of personal power, on the other hand suffering pangs of conscience after the murder of his mother. A contrasting atmosphere is provided by the sinister rituals of the pagan magician Simon Magus and by the transfiguring purity of emergent Christianity.
A lifetime working on the opera
The opera accompanied Boito throughout his life. The composer and librettist started work on it in 1862 and struggled for many decades to bring it to completion. Only after his death did the opera make it to the stage, when conductor Arturo Toscanini produced a performable version and premiered it at La Scala in 1924. Boito's libretti, for instance for Giuseppe Verdi's Otello and Falstaff, are among the most outstanding achievements in operatic history. A leading figure of the artistic movement called Scapigliatura, Boito also wrote the libretto for Franco Faccio's opera Hamlet, which returned to the stage in Europe for the first time in almost 150 years when it was performed at the 2016 Bregenz Festival.
A number of artists involved in the acclaimed rediscovery of Hamlet are now at work on this production of Boito's Nero: Olivier Tambosi, a passionate advocate for Boito's opera, will direct the fascinatingly many-layered work in collaboration with stage designer Frank Philipp Schlössmann and costume designer Gesine Völlm. The music director will be Dirk Kaftan, who made his Bregenz Festival debut also in 2016 at the Werkstattbühne.
Booking for 2020 opens on 18 August
Tickets for the 2020 festival go on sale online at 9 p.m. on 18 August 2019, the final day of this year's season. (This does include tickets to premieres or Festival Lounge tickets). Bookings can be made by telephone from 19 August at the Ticket Center on 0043 5574 4076. The 2020 Bregenz Festival runs from 22 July to 23 August.
Tickets available for the 2019 season
This year's Bregenz Festival opens on 17 July 2019 with a performance of Rigoletto on the lake stage. The next day the opera Don Quichotte will be given at the Festspielhaus. Eighty events are scheduled for season 74 of the festival, which runs until 18 August 2019. Tickets are still available: 0043 5574 4076 and www.bregenzerfestspiele.com.