Trotted out to launch the Baden-Baden Easter Festival, Sir Simon Rattle could not resist a parting blow at his former hosts. ‘Easter is in many towns the time for concentrated concerts – now also in Baden-Baden. The audience is there and it is hungry (Ostern ist inzwischen in vielen Städten die Zeit für konzentrierte Konzerte – und jetzt eben auch in Baden-Baden. Das Publikum ist da. Und es ist hungrig.)‘
Innocuous, you might think. But Austrian and German media are reading his comments as a slight on Salzburg’s pioneering role and an attempt to cover up the shoddy deal in which the Berlin Philharmonic defected almost without notice from its former residency. Rattle’s role in that defection was complicit.
The Berlin Philharmonic’s first B-B Easter Festival opens on Saturday with a Zauberflöte directed by Robert Carsen, starring Kate Royal and Michael Nagy as Pamina and Papageno; Pavol Breslik as Tamino; Ana Durlovski as Queen of the Night. Mrs Rattle, Magdalena Kozena, is the Second Lady. Ticket prices are on a par with Salzburg, ranging from 93 euros to 310 euros.
Doesn’t sound like the hungry Easter supplicants will have any better chance of getting in than they did at Salzburg.
(Salzburg’s Easter Festival will be conducted this year and the the foreseeable future by Berlin contender Christian Thielemann.)
Here’s Simon’s video promo:
Rattle with Baden Baden director Andreas Mölich-Zebhauser.Photo: Festspielhaus Baden-Baden