by Alexia Detoisien, News Writing
|2006 will be even more spectacular. It’s Mozart’s
250th birthday, and Tchaikovsky once said that “Mozart
is the highest, the culminating point that beauty has attained
in the sphere of music” (musiccelebrations.com).
In 2006, The Mozarteum Salzburg International Foundation will
hold a special, year long Salzburg Festival designed to celebrate
Mozart’s anniversary. For the first time in history, the
composer’s 22 operas will all be performed on the same
program. For this occasion, the Foundation also plans concerts,
museum expositions, and special events.
One of the events is the Mozart Choral Festival 2006, which will
take place June 27 to July 3. Choral groups from all over the
world have been invited to perform under the co-direction of
Dr. Eph Ehly, the festival director, and Janos Czifra, director
of music played in the Salzburg Dom since 1989. The groups will
be accompanied by a full orchestra and European soloists.
HPU’s International Vocal Ensemble is one of the groups
invited to perform. They will travel next year to represent Hawai‘i
at the Festival and to tour Europe with other choral groups under
the auspices of Music Celebrations International.
The IVE will perform in both Vienna and Salzburg,” said
Susan Duprey, HPU’s director of Choral Activities. “They
will be able to explore and perform in Mozart’s key places,
important to history,” Duprey added.
Arika Trimnell, a member of the HPU International Vocal Ensemble
who will be one of the Hawai‘i singers performing in Salzburg,.expressed
excitement about going to Austria. “Mozart was a musical
genius,” Trimnell said. “Being invited to celebrate
and sing for his 250th anniversary is really an honor!”
The Salzburg Festival began in 1920, when Max Reinhardt, a theater
director in Salzburg, decided to develop a summer performance
venue for actors and singers who were usually at loose ends,
summer being an off season in theater and music. He planned to
bring the best musicians, performers, and technicians from all
over Europe to perform at a summer festival in Salzburg. They
came, and Reinhardt achieved the high artistic level he had hoped
for. The festival became an annual event, not only for musical
elites but also for their audiences.
Many people today remember Max Reinhardt from his portrayal as
the Salzburg Festival impresario so intent in persuading the
Von Trapp family to perform, in the film version of the true
story, the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical, The
Sound of Music. Reinhardt had help. Two other masters, composer
Richard Strauss and poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal. The latter set
the basic philosophy for Salzburg Festival: “Operas and
plays, both to be of the highest quality.” His words are
quoted on the Salzburg Web site.
For 85 years, the Salzburg Festival has flourished as an international
institution for drama and music. Held for about six weeks each
summer, from late July to the end of August, the Festival welcomes
musical elites in different categories, whose performances vary
from dance theater to ballet, from opera to folk songs, from
symphony concerts to sacred music. The 2005 Salzburg Festival
started July 25 and continues to August 31. It will present 183
performances including opera, dance, theater, and concerts.
As of the end of spring 2005 term, the HPU International Vocal
Ensemble had collected $20,000 of the $40,000 it needs to go
to Austria. To collect the balance, the group will hold fund-raising
events including car washes and cookie sales, as well as Moonlight
Serenades and, Duprey said, both the International Choral Group
and the Vocal Ensemble will be caroling for Christmas.
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