“This summer we want to give people the opportunity to breathe deeply with our art and to recharge their batteries,” says artistic director Thomas Enzinger, who most recently successfully staged “Gräfin Mariza” at the Linz Music Theater. In the seven weeks from July 8th to August 27th, the Lehar Festival is showing three new productions in the Congress and Theater House, plus three other concerts. Rehearsals begin next week.
Leo Fall’s “Madame Pompadour” will be directed by Thomas Enzinger himself. “We want to bring a strong, confident woman onto the stage,” he says. The operetta is completely revised, there is a new musical version. “We will make a revue out of it, but without losing the core of the piece.” The title role is sung by Volksoper singer Julia Koci, who did a lot of research on Madame Pompadour: “She was not only the mistress of King Louis XV, but later also a patron and a power at court.” It premieres on July 8th.
German director Anette Leistenschneider was hired to direct Carl Zeller’s “The Bird Dealer”. She attaches great importance to the entertainment aspect. “The theater can take people into its dream world and help them to step out of everyday life a little.” She also wants to emphasize “emancipatory female figures”, such as “Christl von der Post”. Therefore, the piece was moved in the 1950s: “This makes the operetta cheekier and cheekier.” Premiere is July 15th.
From August 11th, the little-known operetta “Schön ist die Welt” by Franz Lehar can be seen. “It’s a mix-up story about two aristocratic children with a happy ending,” says director Angela Schweiger. It is semi-staged and takes us to the 1930s. “The music isn’t as wild as it was in the 1920s, it has something slightly melancholy about it.”
Last year there were 22,000 visitors, the occupancy rate was 70 percent – due to the corona a little less than in average years. Thanks to a new cooperation, the state of Upper Austria has doubled its funding to around 200,000 euros for the 1.5 million euro budget. In return, cultural director Margot Nazzal is now represented on the association’s board. “With this amount, we can now continue to grow and plan better,” says President Brigitte Stumpner.