“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” ~ Plato
By Catherine Austin Fitts
Bregenz is on the Western side of Austria, on Lake Constance, a lake on the Rhine which is the third largest fresh water lake in Central Europe. Austria, Germany and Switzerland meet here at the foot of the Alps.
The Bregenz Festival was founded in 1946. It is a performing arts festival held every July and August. The Festival is famous for its Seebühne (or floating stage), with a 7,000 seat open-air amphitheatre which is the location for large-scale opera or musical performances on a stage over water on the shores of Lake Constance.
During April and May 2008, scenes for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace were filmed on the Seebühne during a performance of Tosca.
On the invitation of Ulrike Granögger of the Academy of Future Science who teaches, among other things, the Pistis Sophia, I came to Lake Constance to attend Puccini’s magnificent opera Turnadot at this years festival.
The production on Friday evening played to a packed house. We sat down at sunset.
As the sky turned black save the moonlight, the spectacular production unfolded before us.
I have never seen a more extraordinary opera production!
Extraordinary set designs and productions are a tradition here. Take a look at the pictures of past opera productions on this magnificent stage. Amazing!
We brought ponchos and had to use them in an occasional drizzle. The performers simply carry on in the rain. Beware, if you are rained out, I am told there are no refunds.
We returned to Bregenz this morning to see the Vienna Symphony Orchestra play three magnificent pieces in the indoor theatre:
- Franz Schubert Symphony in A minor (“Unfinished”) D 759
- Gustav Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A op. 92
As I am not a musician or music critic, I struggle to find the words to describe how beautiful it was. The audience certainly agreed. Conductor Philippe Jordan was called back for many curtin calls and a standing ovation.
There are several restaurants and cafes on the Festival grounds.
We had coffee after Turnadot and then a delicious lunch today after Beethoven, followed by a long walk along the Lake.
I highly recommend the Bregenz Festival and this lovely area to you. I have already make plans to return in 2017 to see Carmen.
What a deeply restorative time this has been! I am off to Zurich in the morning and then to Amsterdam for meetings and our Lunch with Catherine on Tuesday.
For subscribers in the Netherlands, I hope to see you there!