Artistic Director David Pountney says Goodbye
After 11 years, the artistic director David Pountney finally said goodbye to Bregenz Festival with a diverse programme. The Magic Flute directed by Pountney himself was shown on the Seebühne. Faithful to the motto Vienna Bittersweet, the festival focused on works by the Austrian composer Heinz Karl Gruber, including the commissioned composition Tales from the Vienna Woods chosen as Opera at the Festspielhaus and the satirical opera Gloria von Jaxtberg performed at the Theater am Kornmarkt. Additionally, a new opera genre as well as a number of contemporary compositions were included in the programme: For the first time a family opera was performed. Two operas - Le Rossignol and L'Hirondelle inattendue - were played one immediately after the other and enthralled guests of all ages in a nearly sold out Großer Saal.
"With his last season David Pountney finds the perfect ending for his eleven-year long career as artistic director. He played a huge role in further developing the festival and creating many artistic highlights and unforgettable moments. I want to thank not only David Pountney but all artists and employees"
Festival president Hans-Peter Metzler
In 2014, Bregenz Festival set a new record with 264,000 visitors. About 204,000 guests saw the Opera on the Lake, achieving 100% of capacity. Thus, the Mozart opera directed by David Pountney was the opera with the highest number of visitors since the festival was founded in 1946. With a total of 406,000 visitors in two years it even surpassed the musical West Side Story, which impressed 405,314 people in 2003 and 2004. The season 2013/14 attracted 523,000 guests to Bregenz Festival; a new visitor record.
International Opera Awards: Best premiere
André Tchaikovsky's premiere of The Merchant of Venice, which was part of the Festival programme in 2013, was honoured "best premiere" by the International Opera Awards in 2014.
André Tchaikovsky (1935-1982), who was born in Poland but immigrated to Great Britain, based his opera on William Shakespeare's play. It was created during the 70s and 80s of the 20th century, but was not performed until 2013. Produced by Keith Warner, the premiere took place at Bregenz Festival with the Wiener Symphoniker under the direction of Erik Nielsen. The production was shown in October 2014 in Warsaw and in September 2016, the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff took on the version created in Bregenz. Furthermore, in summer 2013 several other productions focused on the Polish-British composer and during the first weekend of the Festival a symposium was dedicated to him.