Executive summary by Darmansjah
"Grandiose production", "a realm of operatic magic that can hardly be copied" and "encore, please!" were just a few of the many accolades that appeared in press coverage of the Bregenz Festival in its 67th year. The 2012 season of the festival ended with a total of approx. 147,000 visitors. Of those, 108,338 attended a performance of the opera on the lake stage, André Chénier.
Courageous and innovative: in two years, around 230,000 visitors saw the opera André Chénier by the Italian composer Umberto Giordano. No opera house or festival has ever presented this work to so many visitors in a comparable span of time. The Bregenz Festival has thus demonstrated that even less well known operas can draw large audiences.
Under the motto "Memories of the Future" the 2012 Bregenz Festival not only dazzled and delighted audiences and critics with André Chénier, but also impressed with its world premiere staging of the opera Solaris by contemporary composer Detlev Glanert, whose works also featured prominently in other sections of the festival programme.
Highlights of the contemporary arts programme "KAZ" were two concerts at the Kunsthaus Bregenz and in the Lake Studio of the Festspielhaus as well as a repeat visit by the Berlin theatre group Nico and the Navigators. In the drama section, the Vienna Schauspielhaus returned to Bregenz, giving guest performances of the play Makulatur by the well-known Austrian child psychiatrist and prose author Paulus Hochgatterer.
In the crossculture project 2012, Smetana's Die Moldau (Vltava) was crossed with a masterclass of young composers as well as an open community dance project, Panta rhei – everything flows! The Werkstattbühne production was a big hit for the amateur dancers and the musicians and was completely sold out.