Home lifestyle A musical marvel: How to do Salzburg’s six-week classical festival

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A musical marvel: How to do Salzburg’s six-week classical festival

by Ace Damon
The 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress hangs over Salzburg's Old Town at sunset.

The Salzburg Festival is for opera and theater what Wimbledon is for tennis. It is therefore appropriate for tickets to be allocated in a similar manner: by lottery, with members enjoying priority before the public. Apply until January 7 (salzburgfestival.at) and you may be on your way to Austria. Winners will be notified by the end of March.

Created by artists including composer Richard Strauss and businessman Max Reinhardt, the festival was born after World War I with the idea of ​​peace and reconciliation.

Attracting all the major attractions of the performing arts, it lasts six weeks from July 18 to August 30, and celebrates its centenary next year.

The 11th-century Hohensalzburg Fortress hangs over Salzburg's Old Town at sunset.

lights

Next year, he sees a special accent on Beethoven. To mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, the virtuous Igor Levit will perform all 32 piano sonatas. Opera lovers can expect Don Giovanni, Tosca, Electra, Boris Godunov and The Magic Flute. Despite allegations of past sexual misconduct, Placido Domingo is expected to appear on Verdi's Sicilian Vespers. Complete schedule of events in salzburgfestival.at.

Good to know

In addition to the festival, Mozart and Maria von Trapp are the two local heroes who draw visitors to Salzburg. The historic city center is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus and the setting for the 1965 movie The Sound of Music. More than 250,000 participate in the festival, many traditional dresses in casual dresses and lederhosen.

Who is going?

Soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvazov are performing at the festival

Soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Yusif Eyvazov are performing at the festival

Easier to ask who doesn't. Sir Simon Rattle, Cecilia Bartoli, Joseph Calleja and Anna Netrebko are regular artists. In the audience, expect to see the tall and powerful, particularly the German and Austrian politicians. King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, Francesca von Habsburg, Bianca Jagger, Wolfgang Porsche, Theresa May, Angela Merkel and a number of Euro-toffs set the tone.

Where to stay and eat

Enter the central Hotel Bristol, where I stayed, and you can walk everywhere. The soft corridors are lined with photos of divas and conductors. Rooms from £ 246 (bristol-salzburg.at) An economical alternative would be the Best Western Plus Amedia Art, with rooms starting at £ 134 (bestwestern.co.uk) It is modern, clean and has a generous buffet breakfast. Take a bus from outside the hotel and you will be in the city center in just ten minutes.

You will find healthy food at Restaurant Triangel (triangel-salzburg.co.at), in front of the main auditorium, where artists often appear after a performance. Order goulash (about £ 17) and a glass of Gruner Veltliner. Last summer, I saw the handsome Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez.

Food is exceptional at St Peter Stiftskulinarium (st-peter.at) And so it should be. They have been doing this since 803 AD, claiming to be the oldest restaurant in central Europe. Expect traditional Salzburg dishes such as venison stew and pumpkin pork in this former abbey.

Best view in town

Deirdre recommends going to the Museum of Modern Art and seeing the sights

Deirdre recommends going to the Museum of Modern Art and seeing the sights

Most tourists take the funicular from the 11th century castle, Hohensalzburg Fortress, to enjoy the view of the city. But I recommend taking the dedicated elevator to the Museum of Modern Art (museumdermoderne.at), situated on the top of the Monchsberg mountain. Make time for a relaxed lunch at the m32 restaurant to enjoy the panorama.

Don't miss it

The museum at 9 Getreidegasse is the birthplace of Mozart. It would be criminal not to pay tribute to the boy's wonder. There are many memories giving a flavor to the beginning of your life. Then go into the twentieth century and reconstruct the Do-Re-Mi scene of The Sound Of Music on the steps of Mirabell Gardens. After that, visit the Riding School, where the von Trapp family performs in a competition together before escaping. (salzburg.info)

Take a look

Even if you didn't buy opera tickets, go and look at the crowd that gathers outside the main auditorium. It is a high quality glamor with stones to rival Cartier, Graff or Tiffany showcases. And it's good to know that you can pair diamonds with a dirndl. This is so Salzburg.

TRAVEL FACTS

Return flights with BA (ba.com) of £ 163; Ryanair (ryanair.com) from £ 80. Purchase a Salzburg Card at the airport (about £ 37 for 72 hours of unlimited public transport travel and discounted attraction tickets) and board bus 10 which takes you to the city center in 20 minutes.

Deirdre Fernand traveled with salzburgerland.com.

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