When Lake Constance is transformed into a giant opera stage, our ears are in for quite a treat. This year with Turandot.
If the Bregenz Festival did not already exist, it would have to be invented. With Lake Constance as a location for the world’s largest lakeside stage, the water itself becomes a colossal participant in the operatic performances. That’s so impressive that even James Bond stopped by here in the hopes of finding a Quantum of Solace. And you know James Bond won’t go for just any old backdrop. In case of doubt, even the world is not enough…
The Bregenz lakeside stage is more than enough. Seating capacity of nearly 7,000. A set that is best described with the word »gigantic«. And, so every performance becomes not just a visual but also an acoustic treat, the festival people in Bregenz invented the technique of directional listening. More than 800 loudspeakers,specially designed for the festival, relay the sound with millisecond delays so that audience members get the impression of hearing the original sound with no lag time no matter where they are sitting – straight from the direction where the soloist is standing. That’s quite a feat given an eighty by forty metre stage. If so desired, the sound engineers can even let a clarinet fly over the audience’s heads. As they did
during the performance of Tosca, the opera Bond popped in on. But Tosca is – glorious – past, and this year the Chinese Wall will be rising from Lake Constance in the form of a
dragon to provide a suitable stage for Giacomo Puccini’s fairy tale drama Turandot. And at the latest when Prince Calaf strikes up his aria »Nessun Dorma« at the beginning of the third act, the 200 terracotta warriors marching from the sea towards the heavens will appear to be saluting gallantly.
BREGENZ FESTIVAL: 20 July to 21 August 2016, www.bregenzerfestspiele.com
VIENNA HOUSE MARTINSPARK DORNBIRN: Mozartstraße2, 6850 Dornbirn, www.viennahouse.com