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August 21, 1988 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER
"Festivals," Kurt Waldheim proclaimed last month, "reflect the official culture of a democracy." The beleaguered Austrian president was presiding at the opening of the Salzburg Festival. As such, he was offering governmental endorsement to his nation's most glamorous manifestation of cultural achievement, and cultural pretension.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Gerard Mortier, who died of cancer on Saturday at age 70, is being widely eulogized for the incalculable role he played in the opera world in the years he headed opera companies in Brussels, Paris and Madrid. Most notably he revolutionized the Salzburg Festival. I can think of no one more important than the crafty, brilliant Belgian impresario in making opera a uniquely telling, relevant, contemporary and meaningfully controversial art form in Europe. But it wasn't only Europe and it wasn't only opera in which Mortier's influence has proven pervasive.
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NEWS
July 18, 1989 | From Times wire service s
Sir Georg Solti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will open the Salzburg Festival's 1989 season next week in place of Herbert von Karajan, who died Sunday, the orchestra announced today. Solti will lead three performances of Verdi's "A Masked Ball," starting July 27.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2013 | By David Ng
Gérard Mortier has been replaced as the artistic director of the Teatro Real opera company in Madrid, the organization announced on Wednesday. Mortier, who recently had started undergoing treatment for cancer and whose tenure wasn't set to expire until 2016, will be succeeded at the helm of the company by Joan Matabosch, who was the artistic director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. The appointment of Matabosch is effective immediately and his tenure will last for at least six years, the company said.
NEWS
February 23, 2000 | From Associated Press
Gerard Mortier, the director of the Salzburg Festival, has changed his mind about quitting this summer, a year before his contract expires, the Vienna daily Der Standard has reported. Mortier announced the change of heart in an interview to be published today. It was carried in part Tuesday by the Austria Press Agency.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 1992 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Delirious agitation surrounds the Los Angeles Philharmonic these days. Our orchestra is about to take up residence at the Salzburg Festival--the presumably rejuvenated, reportedly de-snobbified yet still superprestigious Salzburg Festival in which Gerard Mortier of Brussels does his best to exorcise the ghost of Konig Herbert von Karajan. Esa-Pekka Salonen and his eager charges are frantically brushing up their Messiaen, not to mention their Mahler and Stravinsky.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 1997 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
The Salzburg Festival ended Sunday, with the last performances of its nine major opera productions, four plays and countless orchestral and chamber music concerts, recitals and new music events. It is the world's most prestigious music festival, and it is presented in a jewel-box Baroque town at the foot of the Alps. But the next day Gerard Mortier, the director of the Salzburg Festival since 1992, was on a plane to a place he really loves.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 1991 | MICHAEL Z. WISE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The opening days of this summer's Salzburg Festival have followed their habitual stately pattern with little sign that one of Europe's most venerable cultural events stands on the brink of dramatic change. Opera fans take their seats in the cavernous Festival Hall most evenings and applaud the standard fare with repeated delight. After decorous jubilation of the stellar lineup, the pampered audience bolts for late-night suppers.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 1997 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
There was thunderous applause and foot-stamping on the wooden floor of the Salzburg Festival's largest opera house Monday night. Such ovations for cast and conductor are not uncommon here, and performances are regularly worthy of them. Booing is equally the norm for directors. The Salzburg Festival began radicalizing its productions five years ago when Gerard Mortier became the artistic director of the festival and took it out of Herbert von Karajan's shadow.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Gerard Mortier, who died of cancer on Saturday at age 70, is being widely eulogized for the incalculable role he played in the opera world in the years he headed opera companies in Brussels, Paris and Madrid. Most notably he revolutionized the Salzburg Festival. I can think of no one more important than the crafty, brilliant Belgian impresario in making opera a uniquely telling, relevant, contemporary and meaningfully controversial art form in Europe. But it wasn't only Europe and it wasn't only opera in which Mortier's influence has proven pervasive.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 12, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
I wonder whether the 9,985 who showed up at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday to hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct a wild and properly woolly concert performance of "Aida" included any of the Hollywood producers responsible for this summer's crop of unsuccessful blockbusters. It would be nice to think so, because Verdi's opera is an object lesson in the art of blockbusterism without the bluster. Bring on the camels and camp it up if you like. But this is also a showstopper opera open to ethereal eloquence.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 7, 2013 | By David Ng
Plácido Domingo has returned to the stage for the first time since he was hospitalized in July after suffering a pulmonary embolism. The 72-year-old tenor performed at the Salzburg Festival in Austria on Tuesday evening, alongside soprano Anna Netrebko in a concert version of Verdi's "Giovanna d'Arco. " The performance, conducted by Paolo Carignani, took place at the festival's Felsenreitschule venue and also featured singers Francesco Meli, Roberto Tagliavini and Johannes Dunz.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 18, 2011
'Fela!' in for 'Funny Girl' Faced with reshuffling the Ahmanson Theatre's season after its planned January start of a revival of "Funny Girl" fell through, Michael Ritchie, the artistic director of Center Theatre Group, has begun moving pieces around to fill the gap. On Thursday, Ritchie bought himself time by jumping the touring production of "Fela!" ahead by a couple of slots. The musical, based on the life and Afrobeat music of the Nigerian pop star Fela Anikulapo Kuti, will now run Dec. 14-Jan.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2011 | By James C. Taylor, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Nino Machaidze, the 28-year-old soprano from Tbilisi, Georgia, has only been singing professionally for a little more than four years, but the origin of her latest turn in L.A. stretches to 2005 and includes a few twists of fate. In January of that year, Los Angeles Opera's production of Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet" helped catapult into operatic superstardom young singers Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón. Soon these two were headlining at major houses and in 2008 were set to re-create their L.A. roles with a highly anticipated new production at the Salzburg Festival — until Netrebko dropped out due to a much publicized pregnancy.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 28, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
In 1978, an unknown, soft-spoken, 21-year-old Polish pianist appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for its newly appointed music director, Carlo Maria Giulini, in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The performances of Chopin's two piano concertos were recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. Krystian Zimerman's eloquence went far beyond his years, and a major career was launched. In the '80s, Zimerman became Leonard Bernstein's favorite pianist, the conductor's choice to record the Beethoven and Brahms piano concertos.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 2008 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
German director Juergen Flimm was chosen Monday to become the general manager of Berlin's Staatsoper opera house in 2010. Flimm, 67, currently artistic director of the prestigious Salzburg Festival in Austria, will replace Peter Mussbach, who left the Staatsoper in May because of differences over programming. Berlin's city government said Flimm will take the job Sept. 1, 2010, with a five-year contract.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Salzburg Festival will produce all 22 operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart next year in a marathon 250th birthday present to the Austrian musical genius. "The great seven operas ... would have been too little for Salzburg," said festival director Peter Ruzicka. "The idea is to be able to examine the development of this unique genius and to contrast it with the music of the 21st century."
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 1990 | SHAUNA SNOW, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
L.A. Philharmonic to Play Salzburg Festival: In August, 1992, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will become the first American orchestra to be in residence at the Salzburg Festival. The announcement is expected to be made today at a press conference in Austria. Under its music director-designate, Esa-Pekka Salonen, the L.A. Philharmonic will play in four performances of the Messiaen opera, "St. Francois d'Assise." The orchestra will also play a number of concerts at the festival.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2005 | From Associated Press
The Salzburg Festival will produce all 22 operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart next year in a marathon 250th birthday present to the Austrian musical genius. "The great seven operas ... would have been too little for Salzburg," said festival director Peter Ruzicka. "The idea is to be able to examine the development of this unique genius and to contrast it with the music of the 21st century."
ENTERTAINMENT
September 1, 2000 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
For the last week of July and all of August, Mozart's picturesque birthplace at the foot of the Alps becomes a melting pot of socialites, musical pilgrims and tourists. The glittery and special 81-year-old Salzburg Festival calls itself the greatest music event in the world. And the world tends to agree. But ever since the right-wing Freedom Party was invited to join the Austrian coalition government last winter, the festival has feared trouble.
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