23th July to 25th August 2014

Call for Applications – Puppeteers/Physical Actors (m/w)

for “The Magci Flute” and “Le Rossignol”

Bregenz Festival in Austria and Puppet Master Mark Down are looking for „Puppeteers / Physical Actors“ for the revival of The Magic Flute von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart open air on Lake Constance and our new Family Opera production Le Rossignol by Igor Stravinsky in the Festspielhaus.

The Magic Flute

The artists will have to be able to operate and carry our large-scale puppet-sculptures (Puppet Design: Marie-Jeanne Lecca and Puppet Makers: Robert Allsopp (birds) and Stefan Fichert (Geharnischte)) up to 20 minutes straight and to simultaneously operate the mechanisms from inside the puppet.

The two types of puppets are on the one hand 3 bird puppets with riders on top that are the 3 Ladies and on the other hand two horse sculptures that are Men in Armor/ Geharnischte. Each of the bird puppets is carried and operated by three puppeteers with the one (preferably strong men) in the middle carrying most of the weight.

The horse sculptures (Men in Armor/Geharnischte) require 4 sturdy people of similar height. In addition the staging involves 2 smaller bird puppets that are operated/handled by 1-2 puppeteers.

Family opera

Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) – Igor Strawinsky

Mark Down will also be staging the wonderful 45-minute short opera as part of our family opera series and will require your support. 9 out of 10 roles in the opera will – most likely– be puppets. Only the Nightingale will be performed by a singer. Le Rossignol will be a collaborative performance project for the puppet team. You will be part of the making and creation process as well as the rehearsals and will probably already start work on Le Rossignol during the Magic Flute rehearsal period. However, the main work will happen as soon as the Magic Flute performances have started Le Rossignol will be performed as a double-bill together with another short opera called L’hirondelle inattendue by Simon Laks on the 17th (morning) and 18th (evening) of August in the Festspielhaus Bregenz.

We are looking for Puppeteers that:

  • are physically fit, resilient and able to tackle the weight of the puppets throughout the whole season (29 Magic Flute and 2 Rossignol perfomances)
  • love physically challenging theater, want to work on new characters and have experience in acting
  • easily learn new choreography & blocking
  • have puppet experience and want to fill existing and new puppets with life
  • have basic knowledge in German and can read and follow music
  • can swim and are not afraid of heights
  • are willing to devote their summer to working in a large, international team of performers, assistant directors/stage managers, technicians and others
  • are not „allergic“ to wind & weather and love to explore our picturesque region in the little free time there is

Start date: 23 June 2014. Performances take place between 24 July to 25 August 2014 in Bregenz, Austria. Other commitments during the term of the contact are not possible.

Successful candidates will be employed by Bregenz Festival for the time period stated above and will earn a gross salary of EUR 10.530,- plus EUR 300,- travel compensation (subject to Austrian taxation and health insurance). All costs for accommodation and living expenses are to be borne by the employee. One day per week will be free.

Please send your updated CV, pictures and videos via DropBox, hightail.com, wetransfer.com or the likes
by 24.02.2014 to the hands of the Artistic Production Manager Opera, Daniel Knapp (daniel.knapp@bregenzerfestspiele.com)

The audition will take place in the spring by written invitation only.

Travel and costs for accommodation are not reimbursed by the Festspiele.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!


HK Gruber Weekend

Over three days the Bregenz Festival showcases the work of HK Gruber, featuring two operas and his Percussion Concerto. The composer will also be performing himself in a concert he curates in the series Music & Poetry.

Satirical opera at the Kornmarkt

Gloria – A Pigtale by HK Gruber
2 August – 7.30 p.m., Vorarlberger Landestheater

Opera at the Festspielhaus

Tales from the Vienna Woods by HK Gruber
3 August – 11 a.m., Festspielhaus

Music & Poetry

3 August – 7 p.m., Lake Studio

Wiener Concert-Verein

  • Curator, chansonnier & narrator: HK Gruber
  • Bernhard Gander: Schlechtecharakterstücke – Trio for violin, cello and piano
  • HK Gruber: Drei Songs aus Gomorra: Rauchlied, Der Kastengeist, Bürgerlied
  • Friedrich Cerha: 1. Keintate

Orchestral concert

4 August – 7.30 p.m., Festspielhaus
Duration: 2 hours, incl. interval

Trumpet: Jeroen Berwaerts

  • Johann Strauss (the Younger): Perpetuum mobile, op. 257
  • HK Gruber: Charivari
  • HK Gruber: „Busking“ – Concert for trumpet, accordion, banjo and string orchestra
  • Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 4 in C


KAZ concerts

Art Or Our Times


Transitions are the unifying theme of this year's KAZ concert at the Kunsthaus Bregenz. Ravel's Trio, composed exactly 100 ago, is regarded as the first modern work for that ensemble. Presenting a blend of Romantic and modern sensibilities, it pointed the way for many later composers. Piazzolla's Four Seasons reflect the transition between the different phases of life, and are also a bridge between serious and popular music. Complementing Piazzolla's music in an intriguing way, finally, are two early pieces by our contemporary Nali Gruber. 

5 August 2014 – 9 p.m., Kunsthaus Bregenz
Altenberg Trio Wien

Piano: Christopher Hinterhuber
Amiram Ganz
Christoph Stradner

Dauer: 1¼ hours, without interval

  • Maurice Ravel: Trio in A minor
  • Astor Piazzolla: The Four Seasons
  • HK Gruber: from Four Pieces for Solo Violin, op.11
  • HK Gruber: Bossa Nova for Cello and Piano, op.21

Price: 15 Euro

Closing concert of the 13 international summer academy opus XXI

The summer academy opus XXI is a member of the European network Ulysses, an association of 17 free institutions that promote young composers and performers in Europe. In this concert, the ensemble L’instant donné from Paris will join forces with scholarship holders of the academy for two world premieres by young composers and for the first performance in Austria of Mask, a piece by this year's composer in residence, Michel van der Aa. He is one of the most successful composers of his generation and won the EUR 100,000 Grawemeyer Award in 2013.

22 August 2014 – 7.30 p.m., Seestudio

Ensemble L’instant donné, scholarship holders of the academy

Duration: 1¼ hours, without interval

  • Michel van der Aa: Mask
  • Works by Sirah Martinez and Sarah Nemtsov

Preis: 15 Euro

Vice Versa Bonus

In cooperation with the Kunsthaus Bregenz. An admission ticket to the 2014 Bregenz Festival entitles the holder to a one-off discount of €4 on the ticket price to the 2014 summer exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz. And vice versa an admission ticket to the 2014 summer exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz entitles the holder to a one-off discount of €4 on the price of an admission ticket to either the opera at the Festspielhaus, music theatre at the Kornmarkt, an orchestral concert or a KAZ event.


Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra Concerts

Farewell concert for David Pountney

There's probably no better way for David Pountney to mark his departure as artistic director of the Bregenz Festival than with Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario). The Viennese singspiel from 1786 will round off a farewell concert to be given in his honour by Gérard Korsten conducting the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra. Depicting the rivalries between singers and actors and the constantly imperilled financing of the project, the work comically reflects the trials and tribulations of theatre directors in Mozart's day as well as our own. In the closing number the artists renounce all competitive thinking and agree to let the audience alone decide about their qualities – wishful thinking indeed. Mozart and his librettist Johann Gottlieb Stephanie were well acquainted with the goings-on behind the scenes and parodied them with affectionate irony. Music for the stage by the American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein provides an energetic and high-spirited addition to the farewell concert programme. The Overture to the operetta Candide and the Symphonic Dances from the international hit West Side Story overflow with infectious good humour. In 2004, David Pountney's artistic directorship began with the second season of West Side Story on the lake stage. And so here too a circle closes. The David Pountney era is to conclude with a rhythmic-melodic firework, not with farewell tears.

Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra
24 August – 11 a.m., Festspielhaus

Duration: 2 hours, incl. interval

Conductor: Gérard Korsten
With: Hanna Herfurtner, David Pountney, Arnold Rawls, Paul Schweinester, Tatiana Serjan, Magdalena Anna Hofmann u. v. a.

  • L. Bernstein: Overture from Candide
  • L. Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
  • W. A. Mozart: Der Schauspieldirektor

Introductory talk in the Festspielhaus one hour before the performance begins, price: EUR 7


Cat. 1 Cat. 2 Cat. 3 Cat. 4Cat. 5
Euro 40 35 28 2216


The Vienna Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra Concerts

War Requiem

The composer Benjamin Britten was an early conscientious objector in conservative England. No wonder that his War Requiem, completed in 1962, carries a pacifist message. In it, moving poems by Wilfred Owen, who was killed while serving in the First World War, are woven together with excerpts from the Latin text of the mass for the dead. The result is a meditative collage about the senselessness of war and violence. The long requiem, scored for choir, boys' choir, soprano, two male soloists, large orchestra and chamber orchestra, is one of the central oratorios of the 20th century.

It was first performed in Coventry's rebuilt cathedral, which had been destroyed by Luftwaffe bombs in the Second World War. Yet Britten remains hopeful: the fictive encounter between two enemy soldiers at the end carries a humanitarian message. Under the baton of the young Swiss conductor Philippe Jordan – music director of the Paris Opera and future chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra – the Prague Philharmonic Choir, the Bregenz Festival Chorus and Wilten Boys' Choir join forces in a poignant anti-war statement.

28 July – 7.30 p.m., Festspielhaus

Duration: 1½ hours, no interval

Conductor: Philippe Jordan
Oksana Dyka
Allan Clayton
Michael Volle

Prague Philharmonic Choir
Bregenz Festival Chorus
Wilten Boys' Choir
Choral directors: Lukáš Vasilek, Benjamin Lack and Johannes Stecher

  • Benjamin Britten: War Requiem, op. 66

Introductory talk in the Festspielhaus one hour before the concert begins, price: EUR 7

4 August – 7.30 p.m., Festspielhaus (Change in the programme)

Duration: 2 hours, incl. interval

Conductor: Claus Peter Flor
Jeroen Berwaerts
Banjo: Mats Bergström
Accordion: Claudia Buder

  • Johann Strauss (the Younger): Perpetuum Mobile, op. 257
  • Hk Gruber: Charivari
  • HK Gruber: „Busking“ – Concert for trumpet, accordion, banjo and string orchestra
  • Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 4 in C

Introductory talk in the Festspielhaus one hour before the concert begins, price: EUR 7

Bewitching melodies

Franz Lehár is known to every lover of music for his operetta The Merry Widow, which was a success all over the world. What the Austrian-Hungarian composer wrote apart from works for the stage is hardly known at all, however. For this reason, Ulf Schirmer, general music director and artistic director of Leipzig Opera, has turned the spotlight onto two neglected orchestral works. In the first of them, the symphonic poem Fever for tenor and orchestra, composed in 1915 in the middle of the First World War, a dying soldier looks back on his life: a powerful drama in miniature. The famous Strauss waltz The Blue Danube, a regular fixture at New Year's concerts, finds an elegant pendant in Franz Lehár's waltz The Grey Danube, composed in 1921 and originally entitled Donaulegenden. The concert closes with Alexander Zemlinsky's symphonic poem Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid), which was premiered in 1905 by the Wiener Concert-Verein – precursor of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra – conducted by the composer. While he was working on the piece in 1905, the prevailing style in Vienna was an opulent orchestral sound on the threshold of modernism. The symphonic fantasy is inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, which Zemlinsky expertly transforms into ravishing music.

11 August – 7.30 p.m., Festspielhaus

Conductor: Ulf Schirmer
Nikolai Schukoff

Duration: 2 hours, incl. interval

  • Johann Strauss (the Younger): Tales from the Vienna Woods, op. 325
  • Franz Lehár: Fever – symphonic poem for tenor and orchestra, No. 5 from the song cycle Aus eiserner Zeit
  • Franz Lehár: The Grey Danube, NV 12
  • Alexander von Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau

Introductory talk an hour before the performance begins, Price 7 Euro.


Cat. 1 Cat. 2 Cat. 3 Cat. 4Cat. 5
Euro 75 58 46 3122

Vienna Symphony Orchestra Day

Since 1946, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra has been the orchestra in residence at the Bregenz Festival. It performs there every summer in the opera productions on the lake stage and in the Festspielhaus, and also gives several of the concerts in the festival's orchestral concert programme. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra gave its first concert in October 1900 at the Vienna Musikverein. Works that are today firmly established in the repertoire like Anton Bruckner's Ninth Symphony, Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder, Maurice Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand and Franz Schmidt's The Book with Seven Seals were given their world premiere by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. In the course of its history the orchestra has been decisively influenced by such eminent conductors as Bruno Walter, Richard Strauss, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Oswald Kabasta, George Szell and Hans Knappertsbusch. In the last few decades it's above all the chief conductors Herbert von Karajan, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Carlo Maria Giulini, Georges Prêtre and Fabio Luisi who have moulded the orchestra's sound. At this year's Bregenz Festival, Philippe Jordan, chief conductor designate of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the orchestra in a concert of Britten's War Requiem. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra gives more than 150 concerts and opera performances per season, most of which take place in Vienna's renowned concert halls, the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus. Since 2006, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra has additionally played in many opera productions at the Theater an der Wien, underscoring its very prominent role in the musical life of Vienna. 

3 August – 2 – 5 p.m.,
in and around the Festspielhaus

Ensembles with members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra perform a wide variety of works from music history and invite you to linger and listen. For the first time, workshops for children will be offered too.

Admission free

Festival Mass

27 July – 9.30 a.m., Parish church of St Gallus

Music director: Benjamin Lack

Bregenz Festival Chorus

Admission free



Family opera

Music director
Gérard Korsten
Director of Le Rossignol
Mark Down
Director of L’Hirondelle inattendue
Gerald Stollwitzer
Set and costume designer
Claudia Raab
Lighting designer
Erwin Jutz

Prague Philharmonic Choir
Choral director: Lukáš Vasilek
Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra


 Igor Stravinksy – Le Rossignol

The nightingale (soprano)
Kathryn Lewek
The chef (soprano)
Magdalena Anna Hofmann
The death (alto)
Katrin Wundsam
The fisherman (tenor)
Rainer Trost
The emperor (baritone)
Markus Brück
The chamberlain (bass-baritone)
Maximilian Krummen
The bonze (bass)
Walter Fink
Prague Philharmonic Choir

Simon Laks: L’hironelle Inattendue

The journalist (tenor)
Rainer Trost
The pilot (baritone)
Markus Brück
The dove (soprano)
Kathryn Lewek
The procne (soprano)
Hanna Herfurtner
The swallow (soprano)
Dénise Beck
The second swallow (soprano)
Dymfna Meijts
The turtle (alto)
Katrin Wundsam
The snake (bass-baritone)
Maximilian Krummen
The bear (bass)
Walter Fink
The voice of heaven (bass)
Albert Pesendorfer
Prague Philharmonic Choir


Le Rossignol / L’Hirondelle inattendue

Family opera

Enchanting, exotic, magical: Family opera for big and small

Premiere 17 August 2014 - 11.00 a.m.
Duration: 2 hours (no interval), Festspielhaus


Our family opera offers marvellous music and an enchanting story for the whole family – whether old or young, big or small. In both pieces a chic and exotic society is confronted with a poor and humble creature that nevertheless has something beautiful and important to say.

An ancient Chinese folk tale, Le Rossignol (The Nightingale) reminds us that true beauty can reside in a simple being too, and that not everything in the world can be replaced by technology. The wonderful thing about such stories is that they can be hundreds of years old, but still can have a significant message for us today. Stravinsky's artful and exotic music perfectly catches the magic of this story about an ancient ruler, his peculiar household and a small bird whose beautiful song saves the ruler's life.

The other bird in our family opera, L’Hirondelle inattendue (The Unexpected Swallow), is another humble little creature, of scruffy appearance and with a not completely spotless reputation, which nonetheless claims its place in Paradise, to the astonishment of an arrogant and vain population. This typically French comedy – quirky and surreal – brings a flavour of Montmartre to the gilded denizens of Paradise.

David Pountney, artistic director

Le Rossignol (The Nightingale)

Opera (lyrical tale) in three acts by Igor Stravinsky, sung in French with German surtitles
Libretto by Stéphane Mitousoff after the tale by Hans Christian Andersen

L’Hirondelle inattendue (The Unexpected Swallow)

Stage premiere

Comic opera in one act by Simon Laks, sung in French with German surtitles

Libretto by Henri Lemarchand, after the radio play Le Bestiaire inattendu: L'Hirondelle du faubourg by Claude Aveline

Additional performance
18 August – 7.30 p.m.

Ticket prices

Kat. 1 Kat. 2Kat. 4
Euro 45 3525

children: EUR 8

Age: from 6

Introductory talk in the Festspielhaus one hour before the performance begins (admission free)


Gloria – a pigtale


Music director
Geoffrey Paterson
Stage director
Frederic Wake-Walker
Set and costume designer
Mamoru Iriguchi
Lighting designer
Cis o’Boyle

Gloria (soprano)
Gillian Keith
Solo Pig (mezzosoprano)
Jessica Walker
Gerhard (tenor)
Andrew Dickinson
Farmer (baritone)
Charles Rice
Rodrigo (bass)
Sion Goronwy

Ensemble CHROMA



Gloria – a pigtale

Satirical opera at the Kornmarkt

Alpine yodellers, frogs and a butcher's shop:
Gloria – a pigtale at the Vorarlberger Landestheater

Satirical opera in two acts by HK Gruber

Libretto by Rudolf Herfurtner
English translation by Amanda Holden
Sung in English with explanations in Germ

Premiere 31 July 2014 – 7.30 p.m.
Duration: 1½ hours (no interval)


HK Gruber's Gloria – a pigtale tells the story of a pig called Gloria who falls in love with a butcher. Only the wild boar Rodrigo can save her. After she has been thrown out of the pigsty by her own kin as a result of her abnormality, Gloria encounters a number of strangely comical figures. They all encourage the piglet in the belief that one day she will meet the prince she has dreamed of for so long. Just as Gloria is finally about to abandon herself to the butcher, she is rescued by Rodrigo. And together they live happily ever after, even though Rodrigo is none too pleased by the idea of walking into the trap of marriage with children. Amid alpine yodellers, Hollywood sausages, blues singing oxen and a chorus of frogs, a narrow-minded society with far-right political tendencies becomes apparent, and is satirised through the cabaret style of the time of the Weimar Republic. The stage set shows a curious butcher's shop, in which five human sausages perform and a big band plays music of a wide range of styles from jazz and blues via Bavarian brass to Mahler and Wagner. The piece shows that people are capable of deceiving themselves and going astray without the influence of external factors. Put more crudely, at the end of the day we are meat packaged in skin. But that doesn't mean we can't dream. For the opposite of sausage is love. 

Frederic Wake-Walker, director

Additional performance
2 August – 7.30 p.m.

Ticket prices

Kat. 1 Kat. 2
Euro 45 26

A co-production with Mahogany opera group (Opera group), Buxton Festival

Introductory talk one hour before the performance begins, at the Vorarlberg Landestheater.
Ticket price: EUR 7


The Table

Art Of Our Times

Epic puppetry inspired by Samuel Beckett, the Bible and IKEA

15 August – 8 p.m., Theater Kosmos
1 hour, no interval

The larger-than-life puppets play a key role in the Bregenz Festival's Magic Flute on the lake stage. They were created with enormous skill by Mark Down and his puppet theatre company Blind Summit. After visitors last summer had a chance to see just how effective puppetry on a really big scale can be, we would now like to show you the magic of puppetry in miniature, presented by the same team of puppeteers. One table, one puppet and … off we go! You will be surprised by the wonderfully odd journey these simple objects take us on, during which we encounter everything from fantastically cantankerous humour to existential anxiety.

David Pountney, artistic director

Director: Mark Down
Puppet designer:
Nick Barnes
Original idea:
Blind Summit Theatre

Ticket price: 24 EUR

With the kind support of the Arts Council England and Jackson's Lane. An original commission by YAD Arts and JCC