The Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is Germany’s largest opera house. The stage and auditorium were integrated into the historic building of the former city train station by the Viennese architect Wilhelm Holzbauer in such a way that modernity and tradition are happily brought together. It is the ideal venue for the Philharmoniker’s Easter Festival, which takes place for the seventh time in the city on the Oos from 13 to 22 April 2019. At the heart of the festival are the performances of Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello, with Stuart Skelton in the title role. The cast of singers also includes soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Desdemona and baritone Luca Salsi as Iago. The production is by Robert Wilson, one of the leading directors of modern music theatre. Alongside Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Kirill Petrenko are among the festival’s conductors. And, of course, there are a number of world famous guest artists, including the violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja, mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and pianist Lang Lang.
Not only the Festspielhaus, but the whole of Baden-Baden is alive with music. The city’s cultural institutions such as the Orangerie, the Casino, the Kurhaus, the church of St. Bernhard, the Spitalkirche, the Evangelische Stadtkirche, the Kulturhaus, the Bürgerhaus Neuer Markt, the Frieder Burda Museum and Schloss Rastatt all become venues for the Philharmoniker – for the “Master Concerts” series of the Philharmoniker’s chamber music ensembles, who this year take Verdi's opera as their reference point for their programme inspired by Italian music. Once again, there is also a chamber opera in the theatre: Victoria Bond’s Clara is a musical monument to Clara Schumann, the city’s most famous resident. Young classical fans are also catered for: they can look forward to the children’s opera Der Kleine und Otello, a staged concert with songs based on motifs by Giuseppe Verdi.