James Bond and the ZDF-Arena on the Seebühne
Not only visitors from all over the world enjoyed the breathtaking production of Puccini's opera thriller Tosca in 2008: In July 2007, a team of EON Productions, the production company behind the Bond movies, visited one of the last Tosca rehearsals. Producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster were impressed - by the unique location directly at Lake Constance, the impressive stage set and technical possibilities it offers and the modern architecture of the Festspielhaus. Thus, in May 2008, the Tosca stage in Bregenz served as location for the new Bond movie Quantum of Solace for ten days. In seven and a half action packed minutes in the Festspielhaus and on the Seebühne, Bond faces his rival for the first time during the Tosca performance. Director Marc Forster integrated the Opera on the Lake in his very own way into the film's plot: In the end, the manhunt through the Festspielhaus seems like an apocalyptic silent movie - every now and then interrupted by impressive scenes from the opera.
Shortly after, in June 2008, the Tosca eye colour switched from blue to orange - the colour of the German TV-channel ZDF: During the European Football Championship in Austria and Switzerland in 2008, the Seebühne was used as a public viewing arena. Every match day, the German commentator trio Johannes B. Kerner, Jürgen Klopp and Urs Meier presented and commentated on the games in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans. More than 160,000 visiting supporters celebrated a three-week long football festival.
Festival summer 2008
After the Bond movie had been shot and the European Football Championship had come to an end, the Tosca eye returned to its original colour blue. During the festival summer of 2008, many people were lured to Lake Constance to see the stage in its original function, namely as an opera setting: Tosca turned out to be the most attended opera revival on the Seebühne of the past ten years.
Showcase: Ernst Krenek
"Rediscovery of the year"
The rest of the festival programme 2008 was dedicated to an extensive project about Ernst Krenek. At the center of attention: Ernst Krenek's "play with music" Karl V., which was staged as Opera at the Festspielhaus and Kehraus um St. Stephan staged as an operetta at the Kornmarkttheater. The orchestral concerts by the Wiener Symphoniker and the Symphonieorchester Vorarlberg focused on "power and music" with works about gods and kings and political party leaders. Furthermore, in September 2009, Bregenz Festival was nominated "rediscovery of the year" by the renowned magazine "Opernwelt" for showcasing Ernst Krenek.
Drama showcase: a highlight of the festival summer
Two sold out drama productions - the Wiener Theater in der Josefstadt with Buddenbrooks by John von Düffel based on Thomas Mann in the Kornmakttheater, the Hamburger Thalia Theater with René Pollesch in Die Welt zu Gast bei reichen Eltern at Shed8 - and outstanding reviews made the new drama showcase a highlight of the season, even in its second year.
The contemporary series Kunst aus der Zeit staged three premieres at the Werkstattbühne and the youth programme cross culture broke participant and visitor records with the most extensive programme ever.