A few European opera festivals to check out this summer

Granted, Spring has just arrived and we all love seeing the cherry blossoms. While we don’t want to brush over this wonderful season when everything awakens we are also looking forward to long summer nights.
It so happens that Europe bursts into song in summer and here are some pretty magical places where you can enjoy sublime voices.
Here are just a few, there are so many more. In small cities and in bigger communities. Some are in a park, some are right in front of the opera house. Which one will you be attending?

1. Glyndebourne, United Kingdom

Yes, there are long intervals and yes, there is champagne. There are also picnics and strolls around the lake, it is also about opera. Now it i’s 85th year, the magic that is Glyndebourne is still going strong. A trip into the countryside of Sussex is well worth the trip. Tickets are not always easy to get but do try and you might be rewared by enjoying a wonderful opera festival.
18 May-15 August 2019 (Glyndebourne website)

2. Salzburger Festspiele, Austria

It may not need a lot of convincing to attend the Salzburger Festspiele, but in case you do need a push: Cecilia Bartoli is the artistic director! Actually there are two festivals and both are extremely well attended.
The Festspiele take place all over the city and Jedermann is already sold out. Besides, Salzburg is celebrating its 100th anniversary and it is save to say that this years will be even better. Established artists as well as newcomers will take the stage. There will be eight operas, incl. Salome, but also drama. There is something for everybody.
By the way, Salzburg is also the place where the high society from all over Europe meets and networks!
WhitSun: 7-10 June 2019
Summer: 20 July - 31 August 2019 (Salzburger Festpiele)

Jedermann 2018: Peter Lohmeyer (Death), Tobias Moretti (Everyman)  © Matthias Horn

Jedermann 2018: Peter Lohmeyer (Death), Tobias Moretti (Everyman)

© Matthias Horn

3. Wagner Festspiele in Bayreuth, Germany

Without a doubt the Wagner Festpiele in Bayreuth are THE society event in the opera world. Tickets are extremly hard to come by. Until recently interested opera lovers had to wait years to get the chance to buy a ticket. However, the Festspiele want to make sure that more people get to enjoy the opera on the Green Hill.
We at Spectacle have been behind the scenes last year. Check it out HERE.
It is legendary how unconfortable those seats are and that is a talk during the interval, but then again, this is Bayreuth. Tannhäuser, Parsifal, Lohengrin, Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Tristan & Isolde are on the program this season.
25 July - 28 August 2019 (Wagner Festspiele)

Wagner Festspiele Bayreuth

4. Bregenzer Festpiele, Austria

We call this the James Bond of opera festivals. Simply because its stage has been used in a James Bond movie. Sometimes it is this simple.
The impressive stage is built on water and the World’s biggest floating stage at that! Because of the massive organisation it takes, the opera changes every two years. 2019 and 2020 will be a new production of Rigoletto.
Just like in Salzburg, the whole city of Bregenz is a stage for this cultural festival. The boat trip across the lake from Germany is magical. Don’t forget your sunscreen, sitting by the water with no shade whatsoever!
17 July - 18 August 2019 (Bregenzer Festspiele)

5. Savonlinna Opera Festival, Finland

If you have the chance to travel to Finland for this festival, don’t hesitate. It will be worth your time. For many years this opera festival has established itself as a leading player. Most performances take place in the court yeard of the castle, which adds to the atmosphere. This year Rossinni makes his debut with The Barber of Seville.
4 July - 3 August 2019 (Savolinna Opera Festival)

castle Savolinna festival

6. The Arena in Verona, Italy

This is one on the bucket list and rightly so! The arena in Verona sits smack dab in the middle of Verona and tickets are available for any budget. The highlight in 2019 is certainly the return of Anna Netrebko together with her husband Yusiv Eyvazov for just three performances.
Two years ago we attended a performance of Aida. See our post right HERE.
13 June - 7 September (Arena in Verona)

arena verona opera oper