About being there and being so

Mozart places the greatest possible tension on the word »desir« in his opera Così fan tutte. The daring dissonance with which Fiordiligi, Dorabella and Don Alfonso sing about »wishing« in their famous trio takes our breath away. Never before had the contradictions of human feeling been expressed in music in such a way. Mozart knows the longing »welches nie befriediget wird, folglich nie aufhört – immer fortdauert, ja von Tag zu Tag wächst« (letter to Constanze 1791). He can express his feelings most powerfully in tones: unsurpassed in sensing everything human and translating existential being-there and being-so into music. The light and the dark, loneliness and happy fulfillment, the I and the We - contrasts that Mozart's music thrives on.

We have given our 2024 season the motto »Schuld & Vergebung: Seelenforscher Mozart«. Based on Mozart's work, it is about dissonances and the contradictions of life. For our key visual, we have combined the sculpture of an »unknown woman« with the Japanese art technique Kintsugi. Broken edges are gilded as a visible and defining sign of human development: scars as lifelines, beauty from imperfection.

In this sense, the program includes sacred and secular music, which are often closely interwoven in Mozart's work. Following the grandiose Idomeneo from 2021, Christophe Rousset - now as Artiste étoile - brings Così fan tutte to the Kaisersaal of the Residenz with a first-class ensemble of singers, a joint project with the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris. This last of the Da Ponte operas also has to do with guilt and forgiveness. Rousset, the French conductor and harpsichordist, will open the Mozartfest with his orchestra Les Talens Lyriques. He has selected works from Mozart's rich musical environment. Rousset is particularly interested in references and has his very own approach to Mozart. He discovers works that otherwise do not appear on the repertoire. Influenced by the history of reception, he will introduce us to his "French" Mozart. For example, in a chamber music matinee in which he will perform early works from Mozart's first stay in Paris with sonatas written at the same time by renowned colleagues such as Johann Christian Bach and Luigi Boccherini.

The human voice is an instrument with which expressions of the soul can be transmitted directly. The voice takes center stage at a total of 21 concerts. Countertenor Valer Sabadus makes his debut at the Mozartfest with his program »Closer to Paradise«. The world-class baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle combines Yiddish and Hebrew songs with Frank Martin's monologues from Jedermann in Shalom Europa. For the Catholic-educated Mozart, music, soul-searching and theology formed a unity, which is why we are dedicating a focus to his last sacred work, the Requiem. In addition to a performance with Concerto Köln and the Dommusik, this focus also includes an exhibition of Thomas Grochowiak's cycle of paintings based on Mozart's Requiem at the Martin von Wagner Museum in collaboration with the University of Würzburg. The extremely successful »Kunst - Musik - Dialog« series with art historian Damian Dombrowski and music researcher Ulrich Konrad will be continued. A concert in Würzburg's oldest parish church, St. Burkard's, explores the end of our days with Mozart's Requiem and American jazz songs.

The Mozartfest has been experimenting with new listening experiences for years. Since 2023, it has been supported by the Federal Cultural Foundation as part of »tuned: Netzwerk für zeitgenössische Klassik«. Once again, a space will be opened up for »Freispiel«, which this time takes place at the Exerzitienhaus Himmelspforten and was developed by young creatives from the MozartLabor. The music-theatrical installation »Hell ist die Nacht« was also developed by former MozartLabor scholarship holders: Würzburg's destruction in 1945 is the starting point for this project of remembrance culture, which explores the path to a life after guilt in the air-raid shelter of a monastery complex in the middle of the city.

For four weeks, the M PopUp will open a space for Mozart called »Garden of Eden«: designed by the team of the podcast series »Des Pudels Kern«, Elisa Erkelenz and David-Maria Gramse. With numerous collaborations, the M PopUp, which offers daily workshops, encounters and concerts, sees itself as an interdisciplinary civic project. From togetherness to togetherness.

Our artistes étoiles from the Mozartfest family return to Würzburg: Reinhard Goebel, Ragna Schirmer, Jörg Widmann and the Schumann Quartet. In four concerts, Kit Armstrong takes us on an »Expedition Mozart«, which brings him together with top musicians from the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, among others. The outstanding director Maxim Emelyanychev, who is coming to Würzburg with his Scottish Chamber Orchestra, has been a permanent member of the artist roster for three years. Unique artists such as Frank Peter Zimmermann, Ronald Brautigam and Andrew Manze have developed exclusive programs on the theme of the season. In discussion formats, renowned experts from the fields of philosophy, theology and psychology will discuss questions of guilt and forgiveness - including Andreas Kruse, Dieter Mersch and Hans Joachim Sander.

When Richard Strauss described Mozart's music as a »revelation of the innermost soul of the worl«, we are right in the middle of the programs for the coming season.

Welcome to the Mozartfest 2024!

Evelyn Meining
Artistic Director of the Mozartfest Würzburg

As of 25.1.2024

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Program Facets

The Würzburg Residenz, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, churches, monasteries, wineries, palace gardens or industrial monuments are the stages for a multi-faceted cornucopia of events in which the focus is on shared appreciation and exploring aural sublimities.

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