The prestigious Salzburg Summer Festival runs from 17 July to 31 August 2021 in Mozart's homeland. The programme of the academic world music festival traditionally includes concerts, operas and dramatic performances. A key part of the programme is the events marking the centenary of the festival, the celebration of which was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The main opera program of the festival began on July 26th. The opening marked the premiere of Mozart's opera «Don Giovanni» in a new production by director Romeo Castellucci and conductor Teodor Currentzis – headliners of Salzburg 2021. "Don Giovanni" in 1920 was the first opera in the festival's history, and a century later it claims to be the centerpiece of the program again.
The real opening of the festival was the debut of the new choir of Currentzis musicAeterna byzantina, which took place on July 21 at the Kollegienkirche – a church opposite the festival complex. A procession of candles continued for over three hours, accompanied by spiritual music in the Lux Aeterna program.
Music is the Esperanto of Angels»
The depth and sound of the ancient Greek musical scales in the temple interior of the Collegienkirche brought back the times when music was a sacred act of absolute renunciation. This effect was heightened by the trembling of the candles and the black vestments of the performers, reminiscent of a monastic order serving in church ritual.
Currentzis’s new choir musicAeterna byzantina, which made its debut at the Salzburg Music Forum, was founded in 2018 with support of the Aksenov Family Foundation. The very name of the choir speaks of the purpose of its creation - the revival and rediscovery of the treasures of Byzantine musical culture. The members of musicAeterna byzantina are twelve graduates of Greek music schools, combining classical vocal training and the ancient tradition of Greek sacred singing.