Salzburg is famous as the Austrian city where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart flourished as a talented musician. Of course, you can celebrate his history and purchase Mozart souvenirs from the many gift shops, chocolate shops and information centres in the city, but why not enjoy a true Mozart-inspired experience with one of the city’s operas?
Once you’ve arrived at your accommodation on your Salzburg airport transportation, it’s time to immerse in all things musical and Mozart.
The Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival is one of the world’s most exclusive music festivals, renowned for its high-quality music. It was established in 1920 and is held for five weeks every summer, beginning in late July. The annual performance of Hugo Van Hofmannsthal’s morality play, Everyman (Jedermann), has been a highlight since 1920, while opera was added to the program in 1922.
The 2015 event offers a colourful schedule of diverse concerts, operas and plays that will make the city “the stage for the world” for the 95th year in a row. If you can’t wait, you could also check out the Whitsun Festival, scheduled from the 22nd to 25th May, 2015.
The City’s Opera Houses
The city has a number of venues that serve as opera houses (several of which you may pass by on your Salzburg airport transportation), however none of them actually date back to the time of Mozart himself (1756-1791), because, at that time, music was performed in churches and at the court of the Prince Archbishop. Nevertheless, if you would like to see a modern Mozart-inspired opera, you should pay a visit to any of the following venues.
The Steintheater Hellbrun
The Steintheater, or Stone Theatre, is sometimes used for concerts during the summer. It was originally a quarry, located in the parks of Hellbrun Palace, and has served as an open-air theatre since the 16th century. Although it is used less nowadays, the first opera outside Italy was performed here.
The Felsenreitschule is a unique theatre that features a retractable roof for open-air performances. It is one of the main stages for the annual festival and was built on the site of a quarry in the early 17th century.
Haus für Mozart and Großes Festspielhaus
The Haus für Mozart was originally known as the Small Festival Hall and was built in 1925. In 2006, the building was re-modelled and re-named the “Haus für Mozart”.
The Großes Festspielhaus or “Great Festival hall” is used only for the Salzburg Festival and Easter Festival. It can hold an audience of 2170 people and is prioritised for concerts and opera. It can even house Jedermann if the weather is not suitable for a performance on Cathedral Square, where the play is usually presented.
The Landestheater is the official theatre of the province. It is not an opulent opera house or internationally renowned, but does offer a great, friendly location to watch an opera. Get the driver of your Salzburg airport transportation to point it out as you pass so you can return on foot.
Finally, the city’s marionette theatre is famous for recorded Mozart operas, which feature fabulous performances using marionette puppets. This place is always a great hit with younger visitors, although adults enjoy it as well.
Once your Salzburg airport transportation has delivered you safely to your city accommodation, make sure you take the time to take in an opera in local venue in order to gain a fantastic cultural experience.