BRegenz The Bregenz Festival has recently sold a little more than a thousand tickets every day. 218,000 tickets are available (excluding the public rehearsal, the program for young people and guided tours), around 85 percent have already been booked. “We are extremely satisfied,” said the commercial director Michael Diem, commenting on the situation before the opening next Wednesday. If the first week is well booked, then it goes on for the entire season, he can deduce that from the experiences in recent years. The interest of the audience should be assessed separately this year and therefore all the more delightful. After months of uncertainty as to whether and how it could be played, it was not even clear by mid-May that all the seats could be occupied. This is now the case if the 3G rule (tested, vaccinated or recovered) is adhered to.
“Mindfulness is required,” Diem explains the situation in the Festspielhaus and on the entire area. The safety of the public must be guaranteed in view of the pandemic that has not yet been overcome. The employees have to follow a strict prevention concept. Rising incidence figures are not conducive to the now recognizable festival mood. The team is optimistic, but tense.
As far as the finances are concerned after the cancellation that became necessary last Corona summer, Festival President Hans-Peter Metzler chooses the terms “solid and stable” in an interview with the UN, even if all reserves are gone due to the loss of income. Director Elisabeth Sobotka’s program gives him confidence. Now that the staging of Verdi’s opera “Rigoletto” has been so popular on the lake stage, there is a chance to build up the reserves again step by step. The concept of the Bregenz Festival that art in turn finances art has not changed. “We have to make sure that we optimally market the opera on the lake so that we can finance the programs in the houses.”
This also gives rise to the topic that particularly affected the festival in the previous year. As you can remember, the lake stand should only have been used to less than 50 percent. The big program was canceled, eight festival days were held with concerts and an opera premiere. Metzler describes the shortfall due to the ticket refunds at 15 million euros.
The 75th anniversary of the festival, which was founded in 1946, is therefore a year of expansion. Metzler also rates the factors at the start as positive. The public was interested in art and the private sponsors were able to hold the festival despite the corona-related economic crisis.
The festival opens on July 21st. The opera “Nero” premieres in the evening, followed by “Rigoletto” on the lake on July 22nd. The season lasts until August 22nd.