A German-language opera hit on the Lake Stage, an opera thriller of emotions in the Festspielhaus, two world premieres on the Workshop Stage, large and small concerts as well as the Opera Studio, the Opera Atelier and three plays: the 78th Bregenz Festival offers a multi-layered and varied program for more than 210,000 visitors for five summer weeks from 17 July to 18 August 2024.

Director Philipp Stölzl returns to Bregenz in 2024/25 with Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz, one of the most popular operas in the German-speaking world and also a work that has never been seen on the Bregenz lake stage before. Following his acclaimed Rigoletto, the play on the lake in 2019/21, this romantic opera about the young clerk Max, who sells his soul for earthly happiness, is the Munich native's second production on Lake Constance in Bregenz. Stölzl is not only responsible for the direction, but also for the stage and lighting design. Conductor in Residence Enrique Mazzola, who also conducted Rigoletto , will conduct. Der Freischütz opens the 78th Bregenz Festival on July 17, 2024.


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Rossini's Tancredi at the Festspielhaus

On July 18, 2024, Gioachino Rossini's "youthful masterpiece" Tancredi celebrates its premiere at the Festspielhaus. It is a gripping operatic thriller of emotions with which the 20-year-old Gioachino Rossini catapulted himself from Venice in 1813 to the top of the Italian composers of his time. Although an early work, Tancredi, with its sweeping melodies and roaring finales, already clearly demonstrates Rossini's musical ingenuity. This opera about love, trust and the impossibility of finding happiness in times of crisis will be staged by Jan Philipp Gloger. The musical director is Yi-Chen Lin, who is well known to Bregenz Festival audiences as the conductor of Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

Tancredi © Bregenz Festival / moodley

Tancredi © Bregenz Festival / moodley

Human speechlessness and mysterious beings on the Werkstattbühne stage
The two world premieres Impossible Connection by Czech composer Ondřej Adámek and Hold Your Breath by Irish composer Éna Brennan will once again make the Werkstattbühne a unique venue for contemporary music theater. On July 27, 2024, Impossible Connection focuses on the failure of interpersonal communication. In a sequence of scenes, the music theater traces a number of moments in which human communication fails, is made more difficult or is prevented. Be it in a dialog with oneself, with a counterpart or in the face of a collective: in situations of emotional overload, people often feel speechless. The German director and author Thomas Fiedler and the Czech composer and conductor Ondřej Adámek have conceived and composed this new performative music theater work especially for the Ensemble Modern.
Hold Your Breath was created in the Bregenz Opera Studio in a multi-year working process between the Irish composer Éna Brennan, the British director and librettist Sir David Pountney and the Portuguese-born visual artist Hugo Canoilas. The former artistic director of the Bregenz Festival has bundled all the ideas into a gripping story that evokes aural, spatial and scenic processes.

Franui as a guest with Hotel Savoy © Ivo von Renner

Franui as a guest with Hotel Savoy © Ivo von Renner

Franui as a guest with Hotel Savoy: operetta dreams in exile
In Joseph Roth's early novel Hotel Savoy, the inn of the same name becomes a metaphor for a world thrown apart at the seams by the First World War. Exile and forlornness, dreams and hopes are not only linked in the hybrid operetta of the same name by the music band Franui; the fates of many outstanding composers from the period between 1900 and 1935 also share a crucial common experience: expulsion by the National Socialists. Franui has musically arranged and "recomposed" the greatest hits of this "silver operetta era": the result is music that can be heard in a different and exciting new way with knowledge of these life stories. The premiere of Hotel Savoy, a production by Schauspiel Stuttgart and the Stuttgart State Opera, is on July 21 at the Theater am Kornmarkt.

Opera Studio: ironic situation comedy and onomatopoeic effects
More than 100 years lie between Gioachino Rossini's first publicly performed opera The Marriage Contract (La cambiale di matrimonio) and the one-act opera Gianni Schicchi from Giacomo Puccini's Il trittico. Both works share a flair for ironic situation comedy and witty onomatopoeic effects. The grande dame of the opera world, Kammersängerin Brigitte Fassbaender, will stage this witty and unusual combination with the young singers of the Opera Studio next summer. British conductor Leo McFall, chief conductor of the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, will conduct this double bill, the first time he has taken over the musical direction of an opera production at the Bregenz Festival. The premiere is on August 12 at the Theater am Kornmarkt.

Orchestral concerts: popular concert pieces from the 19th century to the present day
Symphonic masterpieces and newly discovered sounds go hand in hand: the four orchestral concerts bring the richness of music from the 19th century to the present day to life. With Ludwig van Beethoven's Pastorale, Robert Schumann's "Rhenish" and Gustav Mahler's 1st Symphony, three of the most popular concert pieces are on the program next summer. They will be complemented by works by Carl Maria von Weber, Antonín Dvořák and Igor Stravinsky as well as Emilie Mayer, who, dubbed the "female Beethoven", achieved numerous successes with her compositions in the mid-19th century.
Enrique Mazzola as Conductor in Residence on July 28, 2024 and Leo McFall as Chief Conductor of the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra on August 18, 2024 will be welcome guests at the Festspielhaus. On July 22, 2024, Lithuanian conductor Giedrė Šlekytė will make her debut in Bregenz and on August 5, 2024, the designated Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra Petr Popelka will be a guest at Lake Constance for the first time. On this evening, the new choral-symphonic piece Love and the Fever by Thomas Larcher, a work commissioned by the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, the Bregenz Festival, the Filharmonie Brno and the NTR ZaterdagMatinee, will also celebrate its Austrian premiere.
As part of the Orchestra Academy of the Bregenz Festival and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Stella Vorarlberg Private University, which was launched in 2022, young musicians aged between 17 and 27 will spend a week working with Israeli conductor Daniel Cohen and soprano Marlis Petersen on their first joint concert. The program this time includes Arnold Schönberg, Richard Strauss and Béla Bartók, to be heard on 11 August 2024 in the Festspielhaus.
"Without tailcoat and baton", members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra will present their favorite compositions in changing chamber music line-ups in the popular series Ganz persönlich on 27 July, 3 and 10 August 2024 in the Seestudio.
The vocal ensemble The Present can be heard in concert at the KUB on August 6: Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz has inspired Hanna Herfurtner, one of the Ännchen singers on the lake stage, and her vocal ensemble The Present to create a diverse program.

Orchestra concerts © Bregenz Festival / moodley

Orchestra concerts © Bregenz Festival / moodley

Poetry and music in the Seestudio
Surprising perspectives on the festival program at the interface of chamber music and literature can be found every summer in the Music and Poetry series. On July 28, two Vorarlberg artists will be guests: the "master of storytelling" Michael Köhlmeier and composer Markus Nigsch. The program includes the world premiere of Nigsch's commissioned work Landkarte eines Verbrechens. On August 4, the scary story from the book of ghosts published in 1810 that inspired Carl Maria von Weber to write his opera Der Freischütz will be performed. Sarah Viktoria Frick will read, Sergey Tanin will play the piano. And on August 11, 2024, the meaningful title is "Ich pfeif' auf die Sobotka". Nikolaus Habjan, one of the best artistic whistlers in the world, presents the most popular arias from the world of opera and Elisabeth Sobotka's very personal favorite numbers in a breakneck whistled evening.

Young Festival: Magical brass music and a fidgety wooden puppet
The Young Festival program for children and young people once again offers a wide selection and low-threshold access to art and culture, including the "perennial favorite" Young People's Night. As early as June 2024, the magical brass band show Zirkus Luft-i-Kuss in collaboration with the Vorarlberg Brass Band Association and Christof Dienz's children's opera Pinocchio.

Bregenz Festival July 17 to August 18, 2024