Every year during the Whitsun week, Salzburg attracts the rich, the beautiful as well as scores of talented musicians into the city of Mozart. Smaller but even more exclusive than the internationally reknown Salzburg Festival during summer, the Whitsun Festival gathered an avid following of classical music connossieurs over the years.
Whitsun Festival in Salzburg 2011
For the second time, the Salzburg Festival 2011 features selected works of Neapolitan Baroque and Early Classicism and by that repeating 2010′s theme „Naples – Metropolis and Memories”.
Riccardo Muti, director of the festival, has decided to extend his artistic look at the once strong cultural connections between Vienna and Naples for another year. 2011 brings a 5-year-cycle to a close, reviving Saverio Mercadante’s then hugely popular opera “I due Figaro” for the Whitsun Festival. The libretto continues the story of Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” about Figaro and Count Almaviva: in the meantime Figaro has risen to become the actual lord of the palace and intends to arrange the marriage of the count’s daughter to one of his mates so as to share the rich dowry with him. Yet Figaro has not taken account of Cherubino, who has meanwhile matured into a real hero, and who appears in the palace in disguise under the name of Figaro…
Requiem in C Minor by Luigi Cherubini at the Salzburg Withsun Festival 2011
Composed by Luigi Cherubini for a church service in remembrance of the execution of Louis XVI, the Requiem in C Minor is a highlight in the history of church music. Cherubini combines his masterful command of polyphonic compositional technique with a sensitive interpretation of the text and great intensity of expression. Beethoven was among the composers who greatly admired the Requiem in C minor and it was also played at his funeral service.
One thing’s for sure: this year’s Whitsun Festival is bound to become one of the highlights of Salzburg this spring. From 2012 on, world famous mezzo-soprano Caecilia Bartoli will take over the torch from Riccardo Muti leading the Salzburg Whitsun Festival for three years.
For further information, please check the Salzburg Whitsun Festival 2011 programme.