Conservative Salzburg belies the forward-thinking content of 90-year-old summer festival
Jürgen Flimm has been working hard to bring more adventurous artistic perspectives to the five-week-long Salzburg Festival. One of the world's most ambitious and highly regarded summer festivals, it is celebrating its 90th year, and runs to the end of the month.
I suspect that the festival isn't as fusty as some people think. Its setting in Salzburg, which can come close to feeling like a 17th and 18th century mitteleuropean theme park, circumscribes every picture with the environmental equivalent of a gilded frame.
I hope you can understand French, because Arte has an excellent profile of Salzburg's younger artists available on free Web streaming here. (Don't worry about the registration process, it's painless, free and they won't pester you afterward.)
Salzburg Festival photo
Although it doesn't fall into the artistically adventurous category, one of this summer's Salzburg highlights is a new production of Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (who was there for the previous production in 2008) and directed by Bartlett Sher, the man behind the just-opened Dancap production of South Pacific at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. The cast is impressive, and includes some additional Canadian content: Mercutio is sung by Torontonian Russell Braun (pictured above).