Photo by: © VANMEY Photography

Tyrol Festival Erl’s Winter Concerts – Kufstein, Austria

Kufstein is a beautiful town in Austria’s Tyrol. It’s close to the famous ski resorts of Kitzbuehel and Zell am See. The Kufstein Fortress dates back to before 1205. One of the best ways to experience the region is a visit to the Christmas Markets and hear their winter concerts.

This year, starting on December 26th 2016 through January 8th 2017 the Festival presents two operas, concerts, chamber music and a variety of special events. So that’s why, even in extra time, we are certainly not playing offside or showing any kind of fatigue.  Wolfgang Berthold is responsible for staging the new production of Gioacchino Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri, his first production for the Tyrol Festival Erl. Tito Ceccherini takes over the baton for the revival of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata in Gustav Kuhn’s staging from Verdi Year 2013.  Other conductors in the winter season include Andreas Leisner who conducts the New Year’s Eve Concert, as well as a new discovery by Gustav Kuhn from the U21 team: Patrick Hahn.  Besides Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang performed by the Festival Orchestra, Choral Academy and soloists from the Accademia di Montegral, Hahn will also present amusing and satirical Kreisler songs as soloist at the piano.  Gustav Kuhn of course conducts the New Year’s Concert and the final concert as well as the two performances of the new Rossini production. Concerts by the Musicbanda Franui and the wind ensemble Federspiel round off the programme, and there will also be four concerts of chamber music, with, among others, Michael Kupfer-Radecky and Davide Cabassi.

Winter Concerts - Kufstein AustriaOPERA That Rivals Reality TV – A Tale of Two Women:

One woman proves her love by abandoning her turbulent life in Paris, only to be taught a lesson while living in idyllic monogamy in the country, and after returning briefly to her former way of life, dies.  In contrast the other woman is fetched from Italy to go and live in the palace of the Bey in Algiers where, due to her vivacious character she turns the entire place upside down.  She liberates herself and many Italian slaves from the hand of the tyrant who is ultimately exposed as a fool.

In the winter season 2016/17 there are two operas on the programm which could hardly differ more from each other: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Gioacchino Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri. Comedy encounters tragedy, a happy ending is contrasted by a heart-rending death scene.  And yet fate in its entire complexity and divergence links the two protagonists who both seek happiness in more or less self-chosen exile, and even after they are freed somehow do not really find it.  Gustav Kuhn’s production of the opera La Traviata demonstrated already in Verdi Year how sensitively he works as a stage director of what is perhaps the most famous fate of a woman in opera literature, portraying the different moods in scenes full of emotion.  Tito Ceccherini, as a master of Italian opera, will present his musical view of the scenic dimensions of the work.  The new production of L’italiana in Algeri will be staged by Wolfgang Berthold, who last winter worked as assistant director to Gustav Kuhn on the production of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and will also assist in the summer production of Guglielmo Tell.  With Gustav Kuhn conducting the orchestra of the Tyrol Festival Erl this opera evening also promises to be a multi-faceted, gripping and humorous festival event.



[the_ad id=”15538″]This constellation of concert dates can be saved now as an established construction of success: the New Year’s Eve Concert launches the series with arias, ensembles and overtures from well-known operas and those worthy of discovery, conducted by Andreas Leisner and compèred by Alexander Busche.  The year 2017 gets off to a rousing start in the New Year’s Concert conducted by Gustav Kuhn with sacred and secular works on the programme, of course including waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss in a specific blend so typical of Erl. The series comes to an end in a traditional double constellation: Gustav Kuhn and Jasminka Stančul perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, op. 19, preceded by Webern’s Variations for Orchestra, op. 30 and followed by Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor, op. 36.





The special events in the winter season 2016/17 are particularly attractive.  The Musicbanda Franui presents the new programme Tanz! (Franz), recently released on the col legno label, combining dance music from high Alpine regions and low plains, ranging from Schubert, Bartók and an East Tyrolean Young Farmers’ Ball, across the spectrum of several musical epochs and styles.  The seven young musicians in the brass band Federspiel define wind music with charming impudence, and take an alternative contemporary approach.  Folk music, classical music and world music come together as a fascinating blend of new wind music at the highest level.  The third special of the winter season entitledNeujahrs-Hahnsinn offers the chance to encounter a young conductor who also performs as a chansonnier.  Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang can be heard with full orchestra and chorus conducted by the twenty-two-year-old Patrick Hahn, who then in the second half of the concert accompanies himself on the piano singing humoristic songs by Kreisler.


CHAMBER MUSIC for the adventurous

For all those keen to discover new aspects of chamber music, the Tyrol Festival Erl’s winter season 2016/17 has plenty to offer.  For the first time Davide Cabassi performs together with the piano virtuoso Tatiana Larionova, with whom he will play classical piano works for four hands.  In a concert entitled Viola [ob]session Nobuko Imai and Mariko Hara highlight the beauty of the viola with a programme of works devoted entirely to this instrument.  Maria Radoeva together with the Choral Academy and the Acies String Quartet broadens musical horizons inVerdi Extension, including, among other works, excerpts from The Force of Destiny in the German translation by Franz Werfel. In this series of unusual programmes, the announcement of a classical lied recital by Michael Kupfer-Radecky might appear to be rooted in tradition but his highly cultivated interpretation of lieder always reveals new and exciting aspects – not to mention the fascinating combination of Schubert’sSchwanengesang with contemporary songs.

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