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Salzburg Whitsun Festival


For 2022, artistic director Cecilia Bartoli has put the spotlight of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival on Sevilla; a city that has inspired an endless number of composers. 153 operas are set to revolve around Sevilla.

It is a city with a unique blend of ancient cultures that has produced an incredibly diverse musical legacy. It also boasts overwhelming light, blazing heat and the intoxicating scent of orange blossoms. “It may or may not have been a coincidence, but my professional debut as an opera singer was as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia! Rossini himself owed his reputation in no small part to a man from Sevilla: Manuel del Pópulo Vicente García, the great tenor who was born in the city in 1775 and shone in many of Rossini’s operas throughout his career. It was Manuel García, and later his daughters Maria Malibran and Pauline Viardot, who helped the Barbiere di Siviglia, following the fiasco of its premiere, receive the immense fame it enjoys today. This magnificent work formed the cornerstone of my international career, and I am delighted to return to the Barberie for perhaps the last time — together with some of my absolute favourite colleagues, with Gianluca Capuano as conductor and Rolando Villaón as director,” says Salzburg Whitsun Festival artistic director Cecilia Bartoli.

Here, you will find all the information on the Salzburg Whitsun Festival from 3 to 6 June 2022.

The Whitsun Festival and its changing artistic direction

The Festival has been shaped by great personalities ever since it was founded. It was clear from the onset that it should be an independent institution with a programme very different to the festivals in Summer and at Easter:

  • Karajan’s era: At first, the Festival was intended to be an extension of the Easter Festival. Founded six years previously, it drew large crowds and Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra created a first-class programme.
  • From 1982: Subsequently, more and more orchestras and conductors from around the world were invited. The focus had been on works by Anton Bruckner until Karajan died in 1989. After this devastating experience, the Salzburg Whitsun Festival started to lack direction.
  • New start in 1997: After Baden-Baden played host to the Whitsun concerts in 1997, it prompted a new start in Salzburg in the following year. Completely different to the other two, it was now dedicated to the Baroque composers.
  • Riccardo Muti: The Festival reinvented itself in 2007. Muti, from Naples, wanted to put the spotlight on the composers of his home country. So, until 2011 the programme included Italian composers of the 18th
Cecilia Bartoli as Artistic Director

Cecilia Bartoli has not only been the artistic director since 2012, but has also taken on the lead in the opera production. Alexander Pereira also became the Festival director in 2012 and saw to it that the opera productions could also be used for future summer festivals:

  • 2012: Friedrich Händel: Giulio Cesare in Egitto
  • 2013: Vincenzo Bellini: Norma
  • 2014: Gioachino Rossini: La Cenerentola as well as Otello
  • 2015: Iphigénie en Tauride
  • 2016: Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story
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