It’s festival season! Are you ready for the deafening, sweaty crush that is Lollapalooza? Perhaps next year. This month we present you with two opportunities to be transported by live music, both in beautiful, chaos-free settings: Salzburg, Austria, and Newport, Rhode Island. You can almost flip a coin. Both are repositories of musical history, epicenters of musical innovation, and hosts to well-organized festivals famous for landmark performances. And the settings couldn’t be more picturesque: Newport, a Colonial gem, may soon join Salzburg as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salzburg Festival, Salzburg, Austria
Beginning July 18th and continuing throughout the month of August, the birthplace of Amadeus Mozart celebrates Salzburger Festspiele. The medieval city gives itself over to music, and attendees have their choice of chamber concerts, Mozart Matinees, performances of sacred music, Enlightenment-era symphonies and Romantic sonatas, all performed in historic halls with frescoed ceilings. Opera is particularly well-represented, with performances of the works of Verdi, Gluck, Massenet, and Strauss. There is also theater: plays by Goethe, Shakespeare, and Brecht will be mounted this year. If that isn’t enough of a culture glut, we recommend a stroll through Salzburg’s cobblestone streets and courtyards: The city is crammed with baroque architecture that somehow survived the bombings of WW II. (Also, lots of pastry shops.) Festival tickets can be purchased for individual performances (prices begin at $12 and go as high as $470), but concertgoers can also choose from 17 different subscriptions: five-day customizable programs of multiple performances. Visit salzburgerfestspiele.at/summer for more information.