Lifestyle & Culture

The Salzburg Festival to go ahead and celebrate its 100th anniversary in August

The Salzburg Festival, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, will go ahead from 1st-31st August, with a reduced programme of 110 events (from 200) at 8 venues, and meticulous coronavirus security and prevention measures in place. Organisers plan to stage productions not shown this year, in 2021.

Anniversary celebrations begin on 25th July with the launch of a new exhibition about the Festival’s rich history at the Salzburg Museum. Entitled Great World Theatre – 100 Years of the Salzburg Festival, it is designed as a play inside the museum, with film screenings and staged stories bringing the archive to life.  The exhibition will run to 31st October 2021.

Performances for 2020 include:

  • 12 operas – Elektra (Richard Strauss) and Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart).  Cosi will be led by Joana Mallwitz, the first woman to conduct an opera in the Festival’s 100-year history.
  • 29 plays – including 14 performances of Jederman (Everyman) which opens the Festival as usual on 1st August and will commemorate the anniversary day, 22nd August.
  • 53 concerts – including many works by Beethoven in honour of his 250th anniversary. Virtuoso Igor Levit will play all 32 piano sonatas over 8 evenings.

Tickets go on sale to the public on 13th July after existing ticket holders (15-26 June) and Friends and Sponsors (from 29 June) have been accommodated; 80,000 tickets are available (down from 242,373) and prices remain unchanged (from €5 to €445). No advance bookings taken.

The Salzburg Festival was conceived in the aftermath of the First World War as a celebration of peace. Founder Max Reinhardt was convinced of the power of the arts – ‘the food and meaning of life’ – to reconcile, heal and console at times of strife and adversity. Never has the desire to experience live art been stronger than it is now, after long months of deprivation. Salzburg leads the way with a spectacular festival of music, drama and art bringing light into a dark place.

Salzburg Festival’s Security and Prevention plan complies with the federal government’s official protocols and adds self-imposed safety procedures. There will be no intervals or catering to prevent group gatherings and reduce toilet queues. All tickets will be personalised to aid contact tracing. Current audience obligations (subject to alteration; regular updates will be sent) include immediate ID presentation without request, face masks worn at all times except when seated for performances. Dedicated entry and exit channels and guiding ensure the mandatory 1-metre distancing is maintained. For staff and artistes, stringent hygiene procedures are in place and obligatory testing and health certificates no more than 4 days before work begins are compulsory.  At all venues, surfaces will be regularly cleaned, seating will be arranged to comply with distancing rules and disinfection stations will be available at strategic points.

For further information: