Schwetzingen Festival

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Schwetzingen Festival, during a concert intermission. Schwetzingen Zirkelbau Festspiele 2002.jpg
Schwetzingen Festival, during a concert intermission.

The Schwetzingen Festival (German: Schwetzinger Festspiele, now Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele) is an early summer festival of opera and other classical music presented each year from May to early June in Schwetzingen, Germany.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Schwetzingen Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Schwetzingen is a German town situated in the northwest of Baden-Württemberg, around 10 km (6.2 mi) southwest of Heidelberg and 15 km (9.3 mi) southeast of Mannheim. Schwetzingen is one of the five biggest cities of the Rhein-Neckar-Kreis district and a medium-sized centre near the higher ranked city of Mannheim.


In 1952 the broadcaster Süddeutscher Rundfunk founded the festival in the Schwetzingen area. It is located in a beautiful 250-year-old palace and park, Schwetzingen Castle, near the famous city of Heidelberg. The main venue is the historic Schlosstheater Schwetzingen. Nowadays, the successor organization is the Südwestrundfunk (SWR) and it organises a large number of international concerts and music theatre events every year.

Schlosstheater Schwetzingen palace theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany

Schlosstheater Schwetzingen is a court theater in Schwetzingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The historic building, opened in 1753, is part of Schloss Schwetzingen and since 1952 the principal venue of the Schwetzingen Festival. It is also called Hoftheater, Hofoper, and Comoedienhaus. The frequently applied name Rokokotheater is misleading, because it shows also neoclassical elements, added in 1762.

Südwestrundfunk is a regional public broadcasting corporation serving the southwest of Germany, specifically the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. The corporation has main offices in three cities: Stuttgart, Baden-Baden and Mainz, with the director's office being in Stuttgart. It is a part of the ARD consortium. It broadcasts on two television channels and six radio channels, with its main television and radio office in Baden-Baden and regional offices in Stuttgart and Mainz. It is the second largest broadcasting organization in Germany. SWR, with a coverage of 55,600 km2, and an audience reach estimated to be 14.7 million. SWR employs 3,700 people in its various offices and facilities.

List of major premieres and rediscoveries

One of the festival's characteristics is the world premiere of a new opera, as well as at least one rediscovered opera from former centuries, performed on period instruments.

Year World premieres Early rarities
2000Kurz K Karl-Wieland Kurz: gute miene böses spielLegrenzi Giovanni Legrenzi: La divisione del mondo
2001Hidalgo Manuel Hidalgo: Bacon 1561–1992Haydn Joseph Haydn: L'anima del filosofo
2002Sciarrino Salvatore Sciarrino: Macbeth Benda Georg Benda: Il buon marito
2003Zeller F Frederik Zeller: Irma VepHolzbauer Ignaz Holzbauer: Il figlio delle selve
2004Holszky Adriana Hölszky: Der gute Gott von ManhattanPaisiello Giovanni Paisiello: Il re Teodoro in Venezia
2005Zeller F Frederik Zeller: ZaubernScarlatti Alessandro Scarlatti: Telemaco
2006Sciarrino Salvatore Sciarrino: Kälte (Da gelo a gelo)Kraus Joseph Martin Kraus: Proserpina in German
2007Lang B Bernhard Lang: Der Alte vom BergeLegrenzi Giovanni Legrenzi: Il Giustino
2008Holszky Adriana Hölszky: Hybris/NiobeSteffani Agostino Steffani: Niobe, regina di Tebe
2009Rihm Wolfgang Rihm: ProserpinaHandel George Frideric Handel: Ezio
2010Jarrell Michael Jarrell: Le PèreGretry André Grétry: Andromaque
2011Haas G Georg Friedrich Haas: BluthausGluck Christoph Willibald Gluck: Telemaco
2012Poppe Enno Poppe: IQ. Testbatterie [1] Schweitzer Anton Schweitzer: Rosamunde [2]
2013 Georg Friedrich Haas: Thomas Tommaso Traetta: Ifigenia in Tauride
2014 Bernhard Lang: Reigen Johann Adolph Hasse: Leucippo 1747
2015 Hèctor Parra: Wilde Leonardo Vinci: Didone abbandonata , (pasticcio by Handel)
2016 Georg Friedrich Haas: Koma Francesco Cavalli: Veremonda, l’amazzone di aragona 1652
2017 Annette Schlünz: Tre Volti - Drei Blicke auf Liebe und Krieg Nicola Porpora: Mitridate


Concerts have featured well-known artists such as Gidon Kremer, Jorge Bolet and Cecilia Bartoli, as well as young artists at the start of their careers. Singers of the caliber of Barbara Hendricks, Fritz Wunderlich and Teresa Berganza have performed at the festival as beginners and have all gone on to major careers.

Gidon Kremer Latvian violinist and conductor

Gidon Kremer is a Latvian classical violinist, artistic director, and founder of Kremerata Baltica.

Jorge Bolet American musician

Jorge Bolet was a Cuban-born American virtuoso pianist and teacher. Amongst his teachers were Leopold Godowsky, and Moriz Rosenthal – the latter an outstanding pupil of Franz Liszt.

Cecilia Bartoli Italian singer

Cecilia Bartoli, Cavaliere OMRI is an Italian coloratura mezzo-soprano opera singer and recitalist. She is best known for her interpretations of the music of Bellini, Mozart and Rossini, as well as for her performances of lesser-known Baroque and Classical music. She is known for having the versatility to sing soprano and mezzo roles.

See also

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  1. Klangforum Wien, calendar entry for 27 April 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  2. Festival details Archived 2012-01-08 at the Wayback Machine .