Started in 1946, the Bregenz Festival (Bregenzer Festspiele) is an amazing performing arts festival held every year in July and August in Bregenz, Austria. The festival presents a wide variety of musical and theatrical events in various venues throughout the city. The plays of Shakespeare and the music of Beethoven, Bach are just a sampling of what awaits at this wonderful arts festival. Quite the popular celebration, In 2009 the Bregenz Festival set a record for visitors with 259,084 people attending the festival effectively selling 98% of the tickets available.
The Seebühne (Floating Stage) is definitely one of the main highlights for festival goers, this amazing venue seats 7,000 guests with its performance stage literally floating on the shores of Lake Constance. Opera & musical productions on the lake stage generally come from popular operatic repertoire and have included Il trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi in 2005-2006; West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein in 2003-2004; and La bohème by Giacomo Puccini in 2001-2002. The Seebühne has also been seen on the silver screen when in 2008 scenes for the James Bond film Quantum of Solice were filmed during a performance of Tosca. Other festival venues include the Festspielhaus which features performances of rarely performed opera and concerts; the Werkstattbühne which features performances of contemporary theatre and opera; and the Martinsplatz which is the open-air medieval town square and is the setting for drama performances.
Guided tours that take visitors for a look behind the scenes at these amazing venues are available allowing guests to discover the secrets of the world’s largest floating stage as well as learn about the history and evolutions of the festival. The Bregenz Festival runs from July 21st through August 22nd with various events and performances every day during this time. To learn more about this year’s Bregenz Festival visit their official website here. Festival connoisseurs will definitely enjoy the Festival Lounge and all the privileges and comforts it provides. Lounge guests receive reserved parking, a welcome glass of sparkling wine, back stage tours and the highlight of the Lounge, the culinary delight that is the festival dinner. With such a wide variety of music and culture, the Bregenzer Festspiele is a wonderful celebration of performance arts.