Monday, March 7, 2011


Bregenz Festival - Floating Stage

Every year, the Bregenz Festival takes place in the Austrian city of Bregenz at the Lake Constance. Every summer the audience can experience excellent open-air opera performances 
on the biggest floating stage worldwide.

The creative spirit is perhaps one of the greatest gifts which we humans have been endowed with. Our task as a festival is not only to act as custodians of past creativity, but also to carry this creative power into the lives of our visitors.  
This year we celebrate the courage of the poet André Chénier, whose dedication to justice did not falter even in the face of revolutionary terror. Giordano's opera tells the story of a life that experienced both the wasteful luxury of the Ancien Régime and the radical policies of the Revolution; in the centre stands a passionate individual compelled by his conscience to place his hand in the hellfire of history. This is the stuff that perfect Seebühne operas are made of! All the more so if they come with music of such breathtaking emotional intensity as is the case with Umberto Giordano's André Chénier
With the opera in the Festspielhaus, we celebrate creation and creativity in a more direct way, having commissioned a new work from the Scottish composer Judith Weir. With the same single-mindedness with which we placed Mieczysław Weinberg centre-stage in the 2010 festival, this season we are assisting in the birth of a new opera: an opera written just for you! 
Judith Weir has always been fascinated by the age-old art of storytelling. In her very beautiful and accessible works, she draws on the mythical power of folk tales, many of which deal with age-old problems of human existence. Achterbahn / Miss Fortune is the modern retelling of such a tale – a story about the dizzying vicissitudes of life where, in the blink of an eye, a millionaire can be reduced to washing dishes for a living.
Many have called our programme daring, even risky.
We reply in Chénier's own words: "Obstacles make us great!"

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