The main attraction for a large number of visitors is the game on the lake on the world's largest floating stage . The festival is known for the beauty of the natural backdrop of Lake Constance, oversized stage sets, technical cabinets and unique acoustics, which is achieved through the technology of Bregenz directional hearing. Elisabeth Sobotka has been the artistic director of the Bregenz Festival since January 2015 , Michael Diem is the commercial director, Susanne Schmidt is the opera director, and Olaf A. Schmitt is the dramaturge .
In 2004, for example, the Bregenz Festival program comprised around 80 events which were attended by over 215,000 spectators. The house orchestra of the festival is the Wiener Symphoniker .
In 2020 the festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic . Instead, the Bregenz Festival took place with a reduced program.
History and venues
At the first festival in 1946 (decorator: Franz Palka, Hard), Mozart's “ Bastien and Bastienne ” and his “ Little Night Music ”, choreographed as a ballet , were performed in the gondola port as “Game on the Lake” . After a donation from Karl Deuring, the festival had the world's largest lake stage with a 6400-seat grandstand , which was initially reduced to 4400 seats through renovations in 1979, but after further expansions it can now hold almost 7000 spectators. A large musical theater production was staged every year as a play on the lake, initially mostly operettas , singspiele or play operas , and since the 1970s increasingly operas from the international repertoire and musicals . Between 1960 and 1977 the floating stage was also repeatedly used for ballet performances. Since 1985, the productions have been played on the floating stage for two years.
In spring 2008, shooting for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace also took place on the floating stage, and ZDF also made a guest appearance on the floating stage during the European Football Championship 2008 with the EM studio for daily reporting.
On July 17, 1980, the Bregenz Festival Hall, built from 1977 to 1980 with up to 1765 seats, was opened in a structural connection to the floating stage. During the festival, the Festspielhaus serves as an alternative venue in bad weather (for performances of the game on the lake in a scenically reduced form), as a venue for another opera production and as a performance venue for orchestral concerts.
In 2009 it was named by the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) as one of the best event centers of its size in Europe and received the corresponding award "Best Center 2009".
Theater on the Kornmarkt
The Theater am Kornmarkt has been used for plays (mostly guest performances by well-known theaters such as the Vienna Burgtheater ) since the 1950s. In the 1990s, the Deutsches Theater Berlin made guest appearances here with guest performances and actors such as Ulrich Mühe and Jörg Gudzuhn . After a two-year break, performances took place there again from 2003, most recently of rarely performed operettas and operas. In 2007 the play dangerous love affairs from the theater in der Josefstadt (Vienna) was on the program.
In the directorship of Elisabeth Sobotka (since 2015), the theater is used for opera performances with promising young singers. A cycle of Mozart's three Da Ponte operas is scheduled for 2015 to 2017 . The Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra will play and Hartmut Keil will conduct .
Since autumn 1997, the almost 1000 square meter “workshop stage” has been available, in which primarily contemporary music theater and modern drama are presented. Outside the festival, the workshop stage is used for rehearsals of the game on the lake as well as for pop concerts and other events.
Festival events also take place in the Kunsthaus Bregenz .
In the past, the festival also used the Bregenz town hall for orchestral concerts, Martinsplatz in the Bregenz Upper Town for open-air theater performances and the Kosmos theater for theater guest performances .
The expansion of the stages also requires various new types of technical equipment. In addition to the special amplifier technology for directional hearing in Bregenz , a large number of wireless microphones are also required. In 2010, around 30 wireless microphones were used, with which the limits of what is currently feasible were reached, as the bandwidths had only previously been significantly restricted by the authorities.
Productions on the lake stage and in the festival hall
- 1946–1952 / 1954: Committee of the Bregenz Festival Community (with Kurt Kaiser, among others )
- 1952 / 1954–1982: Ernst Bär
- 1983–2003: Alfred Wopmann
- 2004-2014: David Pountney
- since 2015: Elisabeth Sobotka
- 1963–1968: Walter Rhomberg
- 1968–1981: Albert Fuchs
- 1981–2012: Günter Rhomberg
- since 2012: Hans-Peter Metzler
- 2009: Cultural Brand of the Year from the Causales Agency in Berlin
- 2014: International Opera Award , world premiere of the year (for André Tschaikowsky: The Merchant of Venice )
- 2015: International Opera Award as Festival of the Year
- Ernst Bär: Play on the lake. The Bregenz Festival from its foundation to the present . Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1984, ISBN 3-215-05705-0 .
- Annemarie Bösch-Niederer: The Bregenz Festival . In: Land Vorarlberg (Ed.): Vorarlberg Chronik .
- Dagmar Stecher-Konsalik (Ed.): Music on the lake - enchanted Bregenz . Hestia, Bayreuth 1986, ISBN 3-7770-0310-7 .
- Andrea Meuli (Ed.): The Bregenz Festival . Residenz-Verlag, Salzburg / Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-7017-0950-5 .
- Wolfgang Willaschek (Ed.): Stage worlds. Bregenz workshop . Ueberreuter, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-8000-3955-9 .
- Bregenz Festival officially canceled. In: ORF.at . May 15, 2020, accessed May 15, 2020 .
- Jörn Florian Fuchs: World premiere: Hidden object of the opera characters. In: Wiener Zeitung . August 21, 2020, accessed on August 21, 2020 .
- 7000 at the film premiere of "The Breath of Heaven" . ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Salzburger Nachrichten , August 25, 2010
- Festspielhaus Bregenz received a European award . Article on derStandard.at of April 20, 2009, accessed on November 27, 2015.
- Digital dividend: It's getting tight for wireless microphones . ORF , July 26, 2010; Retrieved July 26, 2010
- "Madama Butterfly" 2021 on the lake (June 7, 2018)
- show Rigoletto for the first time ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Article on bregenzerfestspiele.net from June 2, 2016, accessed on September 1, 2016.
- 2020 the festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic .
- Bregenz Festival: Sobotka starts 2015 with “Turandot” . Article on derStandard.at of December 2, 2013, accessed on November 27, 2015.
- presse.bregenzerfestspiele.com ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Bregenz Festival: leadership in female hands for the first time . vol.at, July 17, 2012; accessed on July 14, 2015.
- Georg Demcisin / ABN: Bregenz Festival. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 1, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-7001-3043-0 .
- Hans-Peter Metzler becomes the new festival president . Article on derStandard.at of November 25, 2011, accessed on July 18, 2015.
- Culture Brand Award: Review 2006-2015 , site of kulturmarken.de , accessed November 27, 2015.
- Bregenz Festival is Festival of the Year . Article on orf.at of April 26, 2015, accessed on April 27, 2015.