Located in an enchanting landscape in the westernmost Austrian province of Vorarlberg, the Bregenz Festival presents top-class operas in the open air every summer. The play on the lake has become world famous for its incredibly stunning atmosphere. Also, the festival persuades with additional cultural highlights in the Festspielhaus, on the workshop stage and in the Theater am Kornmarkt throughout the the official Festival season. 

BREGENZ FESTIVAL

Platz der Wiener Symphoniker

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WHAT WOULD BREGENZ BE WITHOUT ITS FESTIVAL?

Basically, the question does not even arise. Because since 1946 the history of the city is so closely linked to this cultural summer highlight, that it was the conflation of both, that led to the development in recent decades. Nevertheless, the thought experiment is daring: Bregenz would certainly be an extremely livable state capital between wonderful Lake Constance, the picturesque old town and the Pfänder mountain. The international appeal of the congress city would be a lot less. And the immense cultural offerings, not to mention the new "cultural mile" around the Kunsthaus Bregenz, would have hardly come to life without the famous Festival.

The festival simply is a part of Bregenz. Here, the many guests visiting to experience an umcomparable appearance and discovering many other amenities agree with the locals. In the off-season, many locals and visitors enjoy strolling around the "Lake Stage" which is either under construction or being winterized, but always impressing with stage sets not of this world.

Stage sets? Actually, one should call them optical-architectural-technical works of art, as they not only have to function smoothly during the performance, but also have to act jointly with brilliant and complex acoustics.

Tickets Bregenz Festival

Madame Butterfly auf der Bregenzer Seebühne Madame Butterfly auf der Bregenzer Seebühne

SUMMER LANDMARKS: THE SPECTACULAR LAKE STAGE IN BREGENZ

In most cases, they are also tailored to the scenic surroundings and in Bregenz, above all to the lake. They shape the perception of the shore far beyond what can be imagined. So it is no wonder that some of these sets become Bregenz Landmarks temporarily. Among others stage constructions such as for Richard Wagner's "Flying Dutchman" with the high tower (1989/90) or for Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" with the huge eye (2007/08), became serious competition for the city's official landmark: the early baroque Martinsturm in the upper town, which after all has the largest onion dome in Central Europe.

All highlights in view

Cultural Experiences at Lake Constance

Superlatives are a common thing to find around the Bregenz Festival. It starts with the biggest "lake-tribune" hosting 7.000 people per play and does not stop at an ever increasing amount of breathtaking stage sets and groundbreaking stage control systems.

Tip: Enjoy a relaxing Round Trip across Lake Constance

Madame Butterfly auf der Bregenzer Seebühne Madame Butterfly auf der Bregenzer Seebühne

MADAMA BUTTERFLY

GIACOMO PUCCINI
Opera in three acts (1904)
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
in Italian with German surtitles

The Japanese geisha Cio-Cio-San, called Butterfly, revels in happiness when the American lieutenant Pinkerton marries her. Their love culminates in an enchanting duet. Soon after, however, a warship takes the soldier back home.

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ARMIDA

JOSEPH HAYDN
Dramma eroico in drei Akten (1784)Dramma eroico in three acts (1784)
Libretto by Nunziato Porta based on Torquato Tasso’s La Gerusalemme Liberata (1581)

The opera Armida takes us into a world of bizarre magic and taxing relationship fights. What will a young woman do when the man she loves tries to impress her with his heroic fantasies? Or if she is promised to the winner of the upcoming battle? Armida counters this state of warmongering and swindling with love and honesty by using magical skills. She forces the self-confident warriors to question their dreams of manly heroism. Then, however, she starts doubting the role she has been given as seductive sorceress.

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Collage der Oper Armida Collage der Oper Armida

L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI

GIOACHINO ROSSINI

Comic opera in two acts (1813)
Libretto by Angelo Anelli
In Italian with German surtitles

Mustafa longs for a vivacious Italian girl. He is bored with his own wife, Elvira, and plans to marry her off to his favourite slave Lindoro, who was taken into captivity in Algiers some years before. Lindoro, however, is still in love with Isabella, who has come to find him. After running aground with her ship, she is brought to Mustafa. Radiating with self-confidence, she schemes daring intrigues in an attempt to free Lindoro.

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THE TEMPEST

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Translation by Jakob Nolte Premiere of this translation
Co-production with Deutsches Theater Berlin

The magician Prospero, former Duke of Milan, lives on a lonely island. Years ago, his brother Antonio plotted an intrigue, dethroned him and abandoned him in a boat on the open sea. By some miracle, he and his daughter Miranda were able to reach the safety of an island where he built himself a new world. There, he now rules over the elements, ghosts and magic creatures, like Caliban or the sylph Ariel, who are native inhabitants of the island. As »luck« would have it, one day Prospero sights the fleet of the King of Naples, which Antonio belongs to. With Ariel’s help, he unleashes a storm capsizing his brother’s ship and the whole crew, who are left stranded on the island. Now Prospero has the upper hand and sees his chance for belated revenge or reconciliation.

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Aufführung der Oper Der Sturm, eine Frau sitzt auf Seilen, vor ihr steht ein Mann und hinten stehen nochmal drei Leute, die die Arme umeinander gelegt haben Aufführung der Oper Der Sturm, eine Frau sitzt auf Seilen, vor ihr steht ein Mann und hinten stehen nochmal drei Leute, die die Arme umeinander gelegt haben
Aufführung der Oper Kapitän Nemos Bibliothek, Menschen sind in der Kirche und beten Aufführung der Oper Kapitän Nemos Bibliothek, Menschen sind in der Kirche und beten

CAPTAIN NEMO'S LIBRARY

JOHANNES KALITZKE

Opera (2021)
Libretto by Julia Hochstenbach
based on the novel of the same name by Per Olov Enquist
Austrian premiere
in German
Commissioned co-production with Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele 
Supported by the The German Federal Cultural Foundation
Duration: approx. 1.5 hours (no intermission)

Two little boys grow up in a village in Northern Sweden. They are childhood friends that could not be any more different: Johannes is a little ray of sunshine, His mother, however, is a cold, disreputable outsider. The first-person narrator, on the other hand, is very taciturn but his mother gets along well with the local community. When they boys turn six, the authorities decide that they were switched at birth.

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MELENCOLIA

BRIGITTA MUNTENDORF | MORITZ LOBECK

A show against the indifference of the universe 
World premiere
Commissioned work by Bregenz Festival and Ensemble Modern
Supported by the The German Federal Cultural Foundation
Duration: 1.5 hours (no intermission)

For many centuries, melancholy was interpreted in various and often contradictory ways. The puzzling polyhedron in Albrecht Dürer’s famous copperplate engraving Melencolia I has become a symbol for the unsolvable amidst the human desire for salvation and the rational demystification of the world.

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Aufführung der Oper Sibirien, viele verschiedene Leute sind auf der Bühne, sie sitzen an Tischen oder stehen da Aufführung der Oper Sibirien, viele verschiedene Leute sind auf der Bühne, sie sitzen an Tischen oder stehen da

SIBERIA

UMBERTO GIORDANO

Drama in three acts (1903)
Libretto by Luigi Illica
In Italian with German surtitles

It is a dreadful act of love when Stephana gives up her life as a mistress at an elegant townhouse in St. Petersburg to follow her true love Vassili to a Siberian prison camp. In their exile, Stephana turns into a fearless hero, fights inequality and slander. In the middle of this dead end situation, hope flickers among the prisoners. What seemed impossible is now suddenly in reach: the couple is about to flee. Then, a shot is fired.

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Bregenz Festival Scenery