Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden Festival Theatre) is Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

's largest opera house
Opera house
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building...

 and concert hall with 2,500 seats.

Opened on April 18, 1998, the new building's architecture incorporates the former central train station of Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden is a spa town in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is located on the western foothills of the Black Forest, on the banks of the Oos River, in the region of Karlsruhe...

 which, today, is the ticket sales hall and the Festspielhaus restaurant "Aida". The architect was Professor Wilhelm Holzbauer (Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...


Planned from the outset as a privately financed cultural undertaking, the conversion to Europe's first opera and concert enterprise to operate without public subsidy succeeded following the initial public start-up financing. Since March 2000, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden's private cultural foundation has held the responsibility for the house's business operations. Ticket sales, donations and sponsoring have enabled it to operate privately without public subsidies since early 2002.

Under the direction of Managing Director, Andreas Mölich-Zebhauser, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden's programme is organised around four annual festival periods spread throughout the year. The Whitsun, Summer, Autumn and Winter Festivals each include at least one opera production and several classical concerts. Renowned ballet companies make guest appearances three to four times a year with entertainment shows completing the rest of the programme. Each year, the board of trustees at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden cultural foundation awards the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize to an outstanding international musician. The award includes €50,000 in prize money that must be used by the winner to support young musicians.

Major opera productions at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden to date include La traviata
La traviata
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La dame aux Camélias , a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils. The title La traviata means literally The Fallen Woman, or perhaps more figuratively, The Woman...

(Valery Gergiev
Valery Gergiev
Valery Abisalovich Gergiev is a Russian conductor and opera company director. He is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg.- Early life :Gergiev,...

, conductor / Philippe Arlaud, director, 2001), Fidelio
Fidelio is a German opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’amour conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera Leonora...

(Simone Young
Simone Young
Simone Margaret Young AM is an Australian conductor. She is music director of the Hamburg Philharmonic and general manager of the Hamburg State Opera...

, conductor / Philippe Arlaud, director, 2002), Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Die Entführung aus dem Serail is an opera Singspiel in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The German libretto is by Christoph Friedrich Bretzner with adaptations by Gottlieb Stephanie...

(Marc Minkowski, conductor / Macha Makeïeff and Jérôme Deschamps, directors, 2003), Der Ring des Nibelungen
Der Ring des Nibelungen
Der Ring des Nibelungen is a cycle of four epic operas by the German composer Richard Wagner . The works are based loosely on characters from the Norse sagas and the Nibelungenlied...

(Valery Gergiev, musical direction and concept / George Tsypin, stage design, 2003/2004), Rigoletto
Rigoletto is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play Le roi s'amuse by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851...

(Thomas Hengelbrock
Thomas Hengelbrock
Thomas Hengelbrock is a German violinist, musicologist, stage director and conductor.- Biography :Thomas Hengelbrock studied the violin with Rainer Kussmaul and started his career in Würzburg and Freiburg im Breisgau...

, conductor / Philippe Arlaud, director, 2004), Parsifal
Parsifal is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. It is loosely based on Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the 13th century epic poem of the Arthurian knight Parzival and his quest for the Holy Grail, and on Chrétien de Troyes' Perceval, the Story of the Grail.Wagner first conceived the work...

(Kent Nagano
Kent Nagano
__FORCETOC__Kent George Nagano is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Bavarian State Opera.-Biography:...

, conductor / Nikolaus Lehnhoff, director, 2004) and Die Zauberflöte
The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute is an opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The work is in the form of a Singspiel, a popular form that included both singing and spoken dialogue....

(Claudio Abbado
Claudio Abbado
Claudio Abbado, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI , is an Italian conductor. He has served as music director of the La Scala opera house in Milan, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera,...

, conductor / Daniele Abbado, director, 2005).

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden regularly cooperates with the Mariinsky
Mariinsky Theatre
The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of opera and ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. The...

 (Kirov) Theatre St. Petersburg, the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence Festival
The festival international d'art lyrique is an annual international music festival which takes place each summer in Aix-en-Provence, principally in the month of July. Devoted mainly to opera, it also includes concerts of orchestral, chamber, vocal and solo instrumental music.-Establishment:The...

and many other leading opera houses and festivals. Since 2003, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden has also conducted an education programme. Under the motto "Columbus — Classical Discoveries", the project introduces school and university students to classical music. Sponsors enable the young visitors to attend operas, concerts and ballet performances.

External links

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