Mozart – the musico drammatico
In the Mozart Week 2021 (21. – 31. January 2021), Rolando Villazón shows the jubilant composer as a musico drammatico. The emphasis therefore is placed on works in a minor key because they have an immediate dramatic effect. A host of touching, playful and innovative choreographic projects will trace this focus: “Sacred Mozart”, choreographically staged by Andreas Heise and directed musically by Václav Luks and his Collegium 1704; “Púnkitititi!” in the Marionette Theatre or the pantomime “Magic Mozart” promise magically Mozartian moments as well as the semi-staged version of “Don Giovanni” with Sir András Schiff and the Cappella Andrea Barca or the uncompleted opera “L’oca del Cairo” with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe conducted by Robin Ticciati, to mention only some of the highlights.
“The volcano of music, dance and stage is about to erupt, may the fire from within embrace us, may it let colourful feathers spront from our Skin so that we can become joyous parrots who fly back and forth across the fiery landscapes of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, musico drammatico. I cannot wait!” Rolando Villazón
The 2021 Mozart Week Festival is focusing on a single aspect of Mozart’s multifarious musical world and highlighting his achievements as a music dramatist. The musical emphasis will be placed on his minor-key works since these are especially notable for the immediacy of their dramatic impact. In every aspect of its programming, Rolando Villazón’s third Mozart Week Festival continues to be motivated by his motto of “Mozart Unadulterated” and brings together practically all of the composer’s works in a minor tonality. “As a man capable of understanding the human soul and as an incomparable interpreter of this abstract world of light and shade,” Villazón explains, “Mozart reveals himself to us as the most perfect musico drammatico.”
“We shall hear the very best Mozart,” adds the president of the Mozarteum Foundation, Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg. “We shall sense him and experience him for ourselves! Rolando Villazón’s programme Musico drammatico is unadulterated emotion. The whole vast range of exciting, playful and innovative projects on offer at next January’s 2021 Mozart Week Festival provides Salzburg and, indeed, Mozart lovers from all over the world with another exceptional celebration of Mozart’s genius.”
The 2021 Mozart Week Festival is a cornucopia of universal forms of expression that include music, dance, mime and puppetry – an art form that Mozart himself was very fond of – and in that way reflects his dramatic variety on the stage. The first festival of 2021 features some sixty-five events that include three fully staged theatre projects, three performances of operas that will either be presented as concerts or semi-staged, several orchestral concerts, chamber music recitals, dance, mime, films, talks and much more besides.
Fully staged projects
The 2021 Mozart Week Festival features a whole series of exciting, playful and innovative projects involving dance. Directed by Andreas Heise and conducted by Václav Luks, Sacred Mozart is a fully staged choreographic account of the events surrounding the death of Mozart’s mother in Paris in 1778 and constitutes a musico-dramatic approach to this turning point in the composer’s life. Theirs is a poetic interpretation of this episode and draws on a mixed ensemble of dancers and singers performing a carefully chosen selection of sacred works that include the “Coronation” Mass and the Ave verum corpus. In Mozart Moves! Ever your loving son, concert arias, songs, dances and little-known fragments from Mozart’s pen will be performed at the Landestheater. Centred around Magdalena Kožená, this exploration of the various facets of love takes the form of a gripping narrative that is transformed into a veritable piece of music theatre thanks to its choreographic staging. The production of Pùnktititi, first seen at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre in 2020, will also be returning in triumph in 2021.
Operas semi-staged and in concert
Sir András Schiff is continuing his series of concert performances of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas with Don Giovanni – subtitled “The Libertine Punished” – with his Cappella Andrea Barca and an all-star cast that includes Sylvia Schwartz, Mauro Peter, Luca Pisaroni and Julia Lezhneva. Robin Ticciati and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe will perform the unfinished L’oca del Cairo in the Felsenreitschule. Featuring a team of young singers, the work will be presented as a vibrant piece of contemporary minimalist music theatre staged by Freddie Wake Walker with additional music by Mozart himself and with love poems by Bertolt Brecht. And, last but not least, Ivor Bolton and the Salzburg Camerata are giving a concert performance of the last opera that Mozart wrote for Salzburg: Il re pastore.
Outstanding Mozart conductors, ensembles and orchestras in Salzburg
The 2021 Mozart Week Festival is framed by two gala concerts that look both backwards and forwards. At the first of them Keri-Lynn Wilson will be conducting the Mozarteum Orchestra, while at the final concert Europa Galante under Fabio Biondi will perform Mozart’s rarely heard early sacred Singspiel Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots K35. Thomas Hengelbrock will conduct his Balthasar Neumann Ensemble in a pasticcio for tenor and soprano conceived specially for the Festival and titled Scenes from a Marriage. The 2021 Academy Concert will be given by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra with Kristian Bezuidenhout and tenor Daniel Behle. L’Arpeggiata under the direction of Christina Pluhar is returning for two of Mozart’s minor-key Masses, the Missa brevis K65 and the Requiem K626. And the Mozarteum Orchestra, together with the Salzburg Bach Choir and Robert Levin, will perform a reconstruction of a historical concert by Franz Xaver Mozart from 1805. The conductor will be Riccardo Minasi. The C minor Mass K427 – Mozart’s declaration of his love for Constanze – will be performed by a team of hand-picked soloists, the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus and the Vienna Philharmonic under Alain Altinoglu. Daniel Barenboim will be continuing his cycle of late Mozart symphonies and keyboard concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic. He will be supported in this endeavour by the mezzo-soprano Marianna Crebassa. And Mitsuko Uchida is continuing her Mozart cycle with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Her programme features two keyboard concertos and the ballet music from Idomeneo.
Exquisite chamber music – top-notch solo recitals
Two of today’s leading pianists, Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim, who have known each other for many years and who regularly perform duets together, will be presenting a selection of Mozart’s works for piano duet. The Hagen Quartet will be playing all six of Mozart’s “Haydn” Quartets. Sir András Schiff will accompany singers from his performances of Don Giovanni in a song recital in the Great Hall of the Mozarteum. The young pianist Maximilian Kromer is appearing with the Quatuor Van Kuijk, Robert Levin with the Quatuor Hermès. String players from the Spunicunifait Quintet is appearing at the DomQuartier and Hannfried Lucke is giving a morning organ recital.
The Trazom! series of performances will be sweeping away the dust and grime from a number of traditional images of Mozart and approaching him as man and artist from an unconventional and often comical angle. Trazom! (“Mozart” spelt backwards) features projects that shed a new and more playful light on Mozart. The pianist Jory Vinikour has devised an evening of silent film clips that brings together Mozart and Charlie Chaplin. Mozart meets Chaplin and a Cat: Magic Mozart has been created specially for the Mozart Week Festival and combines dance, mime, acrobatics, puppetry and music at Salzburg’s SZENE to produce a magically exciting total artwork. At the OVAL in the EUROPAPARK Little Mozart invites the whole family to go on a musical journey.
Letters and Music is another popular event that in 2021 is being planned around the relationship between Mozart and his sister Maria Anna (“Nannerl”). Titled Cara sorella mia and drawing on the correspondence between the siblings, it will be performed by Eldbjørg Hemsing on Mozart’s “Costa” violin, Marie Sophie Hauzel on the fortepiano and the actress and audience favourite Adele Neuhauser as the narrator. And Mozart’s birthday on 27 January will again be marked in a typically Mexican fashion with mariachis and serenades.
Masterchef Toni Mörwald is serving up a sumptuous banquet inspired by Mozart’s eighteenth century. As before he will be working with the St Peter’s Stiftskulinarium. There will additionally be film screenings and interviews with artists and Mozart experts.