The Salzkammergut Festival weeks in Gmunden from July 3 to August 15 kick off the summer with optimism despite CoV. It is hoped that the number of its visitors will reach 10,000 visitors. The focus this year is on writer Thomas Bernhard. New on board is former Burgtheater Director Karin Bergmann, who will be looking after the theater district from 2022.
With Bergmann, Salzkammergut Festival weeks bring one of the most in-depth literature connoisseurs on board. Bergmann is only responsible for one project with young actors this year, but from 2022 she will focus more on theater in Lake Traunsee.
As the person in charge of theater programming, she wants to focus on classics of Austrian modernity and contemporary authors. Plus, it has new formats in mind – “I want to invent a late-night format”. She also has “Really Great Ideas for Shared Projects” in the Salzkammergut Cultural Capital 2024 – “Ideas dealing with the culture of memory” – and is hoping to have conversations here.
Readings by Thomas Bernard
One of Bergmann’s ancestors will visit the castle on August 7: Klaus Beeman will read “Fall of the Wood. A Thrill” by Thomas Bernard. Additional readings will be held by Bernhard on July 31 Birgit Menichmeier, Christoph Lauser and Clara Wolfram (“Am Zell”), on August 3 Hermann Bell with “Wittgenstein Neve”, on August 10 by Martin Schwab (der Unterger) and on August 13 by Klaus. Maria Brandor with Minetti. Beginning July 17, the Linz State Theater will show “Force of Habit” by Thomas Bernhard directed by Tania Rigel at the Gmunden City Theater.
Open-air concert by the Bruckner Orchestra
Even if the festival begins on July 3, the official opening will not take place until July 8 with a concert by the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the quad-wave band led by Joji Hattori at the Tuscany Gmonden Congress. Prior to this, Bruckner Orchester Linz led by Markus Poschner will perform a large outdoor concert in Toscana Park on July 4 under the title “Truely Heavenly”, with supported vocals by Rolando Villazón and Regula Mühlemann, which will be broadcast live on ORF.
Commercial director Joanna Mitterbauer expects this year with a budget of 800,000 euros and 10,000 visitors – provided there are adequate relaxation periods. But here the festival is optimistic. If there is a mandatory test, “We have to adapt to it,” then manager Christian Hick is relatively comfortable with the season. Currently, up to 250 tickets are sold per event, and if requirements allow more, you’ll want to increase.
New formats in the program include pop-up galleries in the city, a picture gallery as in the old Seeviertel, and from mid-May, “Hausmusikroas” by Franz Welser-Möst as a revival of Salzkammergut folk music.