The world’s most important Mozart festival launches 2020, a year of musical anniversaries: Rolando Villazón’s journey through Mozart’s universe continues –at its heart are Mozart’s special friendships and his works for wind instruments. Mozart week runs from January 23 to February 2, 2020.
Rolando Villazón’s second Mozart Week Festival privileges Wolfgang Amadéus Mozart’s works for brass and woodwind. “The motto ‘Undiluted Mozart’ applies to all my Mozart Week Festivals, but each of them additionally focuses on a particular point of musical interest that changes every year. Our aim is to explore and present Mozart’s incredibly wide-ranging output in all its variety. In 2020 it is wind instruments that are central to our programme,” explains intendant Rolando Villazón, adding: “This year we are also examining the special friendships that produced these masterpieces. We are undertaking a journey together and immersing ourselves in Mozart’s world. In the course of this journey we may discover some wonderful treasures–I know this from my own personal experience.” The 2020 Mozart Week Festival features around sixty events, including three fully staged works, a concert performance of an opera, orchestral concerts, chamber music, dance and much more besides.To quote the president of the Mozarteum Foundation, Johannes Honsig-Erlenburg, “Our hearts will again be ravished by the 2020 Mozart Week Festival!
What a gift Rolando Villazón has prepared for visitors to this and subsequent Mozart Week Festivals. Not just Mozart’sextraordinary music, no, but also an actual encounter with Mozart’s worlds of emotion. No one can be left untouched by this.”Mozart’s friendshipsIt is to Mozart’s friendships with contemporaries such as Anton Stadler, Joseph Leutgeb, Ferdinand Dejean and Friedrich Ramm that we owe a series of unique works for woodwind and brass. At the 2020 Mozart Week Festival four undisputed masters of their metier and distinguished interpreters of Mozart’s music will perform the great solo concertos and a selection of chamber works: Andreas Ottensamer plays the sublime Clarinet Concerto and the “Stadler” Quintet, Radek Baborák is the soloist in all four horn concertos and the Horn Quintet, Emmanuel Pahud performs the two flute concertos and François Leleux is the soloist in the Oboe Concerto and a programme of chamber works with Les Vents Français.
Three of today’s most prominent Mozartians will also be central to the 2020 programme, continuing our tradition of inviting the world’s finest Mozart interpreters to Salzburg: Mitsuko Uchida will again be appearing with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Sir András Schiff is launching a new cycle of concert performances of the Da Ponte operas with his Cappella Andrea Barca and an outstanding team of soloists in Le nozze di Figaro; and Daniel Barenboim is starting a cycle of Mozart’s last ten symphonies and last eight keyboard concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic, a cycle that will extend over a period of four years. An exceptional “Messiah” directed by Robert Wilson as our principal stage production.
The major stage production of the 2020 Mozart Week Festival features a phenomenal line-up at the Haus für Mozart: the acclaimed director, playwright, painter, set designer and video artist Robert Wilson is staging K572, Mozart’s reworking of Handel’s oratorio Messiah. Marc Minkowski, a close friend of the Mozart Week Festival and its former artistic director, is returning to perform the piece with his Musiciens du Louvre and a hand-picked group of singers.
In addition to Messiah, the Festival is presenting two other staged projects: Pùnkitititi!is a piece that artist Doug Fitch has conceived and created specially for the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, while Mozart Moves! –Seven Little Dramasis a world premiere that intendant Rolando Villazón is staging at the Salzburg Landestheater and showcases seven original works by seven different writers, Martha Batiz, John von Düffel, Tom Holloway, Shlomo Moskovitz, Guadalupe Nettel, Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt and Jorge Volpi. All are inspired by the divertimentos that Mozart wrote exclusively for wind instruments.Outstanding Mozart conductors making guest appearances in SalzburgAn eminent roster of top-flight conductors will be appearing in 2020: Kristiina Poska is returning to conduct the openingconcert with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and a number of young soloists in a programme that links together the musical themes of 2019 and 2020; Andrew Manze conducts the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Christina Pluhar is making her Salzburg debut with her ensemble L’Arpeggiata and performing another of Mozart’s arrangements of a Handel oratorio; Andrea Marcon and La Cetra are performing the Cminor Mass; Riccardo Minasi is conducting an academy concert; Lahav Shani is conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and playing the piano solo in a programme that also features two of the orchestra’s young soloists in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp; and Daniel Harding is conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in a closing gala that celebrates the musical focus of the 2020 Mozart Week Festival and at the same time announces the theme for 2021- Exquisite chamber music.
Ever since it was founded, chamber music has been lovingly cultivated on the highest level at the Mozart Week Festival. Among the ensembles that willbe appearing in 2020 are Les Vents Français, the Kodály String Quartet and Éric Le Sage, soloists from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Armida Quartet and Mathilde Calderini, soloists from the Akademie für Alte Musik, Mojca Erdmann, the Takács Quartetand the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet and Kristian Bezuidenhout.“Mozart Is Alive!” –new formats continue to be developed. The popular format of Letters and Musicthat was launched in 2019 is to be continued in 2020, when the actor Florian Teichtmeister will be reading from the letters that Mozart wrote to his friends, while Paul Montag and Hugues Borsarello will accompany this correspondence between friends with sonatas performed on Mozart’s own instruments.
As in 2019, so in 2020 the Mozart Week Festival will take in several different venues in Salzburg and include two new and original programmes: Mozart in the Wind, developed and performed by Florian Willeitner and the Pool of Invention Ensemble, can be seen and heard at the Salzburg SZENE, while Les Sourds-Doués from France will be appearing with a lively brass and woodwind show at the OVAL in the EUROPARK. A new venue in 2020 will be the DomQuartier, where two events will be held: a lecture by the journalist Gerardo Kleinburg with musical accompaniment and a conversation between two artists, Rolando Villazón and Florian Teichtmeister.A large number of additional events complement and complete the programme of the 2020 Mozart Week Festival: intendant Rolando Villazón will join forces with the group Mariachisto serenade Salzburg’s greatest composer on his birthday, while concertgoers are also invited to the ARGEkultur for a Loteria Mozartiana, a Mozartian game that is a kind of Mexican lottery interspersed with movements from Mozart’s Musical Joke. Masterchef Alfons Schuhbeck will again be serving up a lavish gala banquet from Mozart’s day, this time in association with the Stiftskulinarium St Peter. There will also be film screenings and interviews with artists and Mozart experts.
Mozart’s German-language version of Handel’s Messiah is famous, though seldom heard. Written in 1789, at the request of baroque enthusiast Gottfried van Swieten, this profound arrangement of Handel’s best-known oratorio includes copious woodwind parts: in addition to the two oboes in the original work, now flutes, clarinets and bassoons are given important roles, and the brass parts are also adapted. Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre are not only acclaimed exponents of Handel and Mozart; they also belong to the Mozart Week musical family. To mark their return to the festival, their brilliant performance is combined for the first time with the distinctive meditative art of cult director Bob Wilson: a fascinating fusion of periods and styles on several levels.
Mozart as Harlequin: for the 1783 carnival, he appeared in costume in one of his own works, Pantalon et Colombine, a satire in the style of the commedia dell’arte. “Both the plot and the music of the pantomime were mine”, he wrote proudly to his father. Regrettably, only a fragment of the piece has survived. In 1778 Mozart had already contributed to ballet music (Les petits riens) for an intermezzo in an opera by Piccinni, gaining higher appreciation than the actual opera. On the basis of thesetwo trifles, adapted by the young composer, arranger and violinist Florian Willeitner for his Pool of Invention ensemble, American theatre-maker Doug Fitch, known for his opera productions, has created a new piece tailored to the unique magical atmosphereof the Salzburg Marionette Theatre.
“All the world's a stage,” wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It –and this applies also to Mozart’s music; even when it is not written specifically for the theatre, it still unleashes dramatic powers. Forthis project, seven writers have each chosen one of Mozart’s wind divertimenti as inspiration for a playlet. Rolando Villazón (director) and Reginaldo Oliveira (choreographer) will stage these with the acting and dance ensemble of the Salzburg Landestheater, music from the respective works providing the connecting theme.
This year, the Vienna Philharmonic –for Rolando Villazón “one of the best ‘original’ Mozartorchestras of all time” –begins a double series planned to last until the 2023 Mozart Week. It consists of the last ten major symphonies and piano concertos –and “it is in the piano concertos”, says Villazón, “that Mozart’s soul is found”. Daniel Barenboim will be the orchestra’s main, though not exclusive, partner. For two of the three concerts in 2020, he will take his place on the rostrum or at the piano –and the Philharmonic wind-players will display their prowess in the “Gran Partita”. In each third concert, a young star will demonstrate expertise in Mozart interpretation –this time the internationally acclaimed Lahav Shani, performing as both pianist and conductor.
Le nozze di Figaro with András Schiff conducting his Cappella Andrea Barca while playing continuo –in a concert performance scrupulously adapted by Rolando Villazón for staging in the Felsenreitschule. This is the prelude to a series of da Ponte operas conducted by Sir András, who has at his disposal his illustrious ideal cast. Mitsuko Uchida continues the intimate concert series begun in 2019 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; oboist François Leleux isaccompanied by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe; with their period instrument ensembles and outstanding voices, Christina Pluhar and Andrea Marcon perform sacred music works both great and small, well-and lesser-known. Finally, under Daniel Harding, Andreas Ottensamer concludes the Mozart Week with the Clarinet Concerto, linking this year’s programme, with its emphasis on wind music, with that of next year, which focuses on the voice –anticipated by mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught.
MOZART CHILDREN’S ORCHESTRA
Radek Baborák, one of the best-known horn-players of our day –who is to perform all four of Mozart’s horn concertos with various partners at Mozart Week –and flautist Fabian Egger, born in2007; these are the soloists in the concert given by the Mozart Children’s Orchestra, conducted by Peter Manning. Here highly talented young people combine musical forcesto surpass themselves in making music together.
Mozart Week opens its doors, and the imaginary curtain rises with the opening concert under Kristiina Poska, moderated by Rolando Villazón. The sound of the 2019 choral works still lingers in the voices of the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, before the solo wind instruments areinaugurated as the new focus. The Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra also performs the Akademiekonzert, conducted by Riccardo Minasi, with distinguished soloists on a par with those in thetwo matinee concerts given by the Salzburg Camerata, where the stars shine in festive yet intimate performance –without a nominal conductor. The Philharmonie under Elisabeth Fuchs and the Mozarteum University Symphony Orchestra, under Felix Mildenberger, demonstrate both soloistic and collective mastery.
CHAMBER CONCERTS AND RECITALS
At the heart of Mozart’s oeuvre for and with wind instruments are delightful divertimenti and exquisite chamber works. Soloists from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik, wind ensembles such as Les Vents Françaisand, in new arrangements, the Ebonit Saxophone Quartet, soloists such as Andreas Ottensamer, Radek Baborák or Mathilde Calderini demonstrate the wealth of this treasure trove. They are partnered by the Kodály, Takács and Armida Quartets, pianist Eric Le Sage, soprano Mojca Erdmann and violist Thomas Riebl –instrumental splendour on a small scale, and a solo performance by Kristian Bezuidenhout at the hammerklavier.The 2020Mozart Week Festival features around 60events of every description in 15 different venues. For further information: https://mozarteum.at/en/mozart-week/
Biography- Rolando Villazón
Through his charismatic and gripping performances in the world’s major opera houses and concert halls Rolando Villazón has established himself as one of the most popular and celebrated tenors of our time. Besides his stage career he is known also as stage director, writer and television presenter. Born in Mexico City in 1972, he began to study music at the national conservatory of his homeland before joining the young generation programmes at the opera houses in Pittsburgh and San Francisco. Rolando Villazón soon became well known on the international music scene after winning several prizes in 1999 at the Operalia Competition. In the same year he made his debuts as Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon in Genua, as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Opéra de Paris and as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden Berlin, roles which all underlined his extraordinary talent. He has been a frequent guest on all major stages ever since. Following making his debut in Lyons in 2011 Rolando Villazón has also established himself as a stage director and directed productions for the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Dusseldorf and for the Vienna Volksoper. In 2007 he was signed up by Deutsche Grammophon as an exclusive artist and so far he has issued over 20 CDs and DVDs which havebeen highly acclaimed. Moreover, in France, his country of residence, he was nominated as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Rolando Villazón is an ambassador of the Red Noses Clown Doctors International and a member of the Collège de Pataphysique de Paris. He has published two novels, Malabares (2013) and Lebenskünstler (2017). In 2017 he was appointed as Mozart Ambassador of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and also named Artistic Director of the Mozart Week beginning in 2020.