September 21, 2020

Huge success for the first edition of the Bayreuth Baroque Festival

With a completely sold out Margravial opera house in Bayreuth and almost 360,000 online viewers worldwide, the first edition of Bayreuth Baroque Festival came to an end last Sunday and exceeded all expectations. From September 3rd to 13th, artistic director Max Emanuel Cencic and international stars of the baroque scene such as Joyce DiDonato, Jordi Savall, Julia Lezhneva, Franco Fagioli, Bruno de Sá and many others presented a festival with a wide-variety program in Bayreuth. The rediscovery of Porpora’s opera Carlo il Calvo, directed by Max Emanuel Cencic, which can also be seen at next year’s festival, received international acclaim. The German premiere of Vinci’s opera Gismondo, re di Polonia caused a sensation. With a world premiere recording, it recently received the German Record Critics’ Prize. The next edition of Bayreuth Baroque will take place in the first half of September 2021.

Max Emanuel Cencic and the entire Bayreuth Baroque festival team are proud and grateful that the originally planned program was able to take place in its entirety with only a few minor changes. In this very difficult year for the culture industry, they have set an important example for all.  Minister of Art Bernd Sibler emphasizes: “The start of Bayreuth Baroque was tremendous! I congratulate you all on this successful premiere under these most difficult circumstances. This festival is a valuable enrichment for the cultural life in Bavaria. I am already looking forward to the next season, in which we will again support those involved as much as we can.”

Also, the city of Bayreuth has acknowledged the importance of the new international festival, which has successfully established itself despite this year of crisis. Thomas Ebersberger, Lord Mayor of the City of Bayreuth, says: “Bayreuth Baroque’ has had a brilliant start! With opera productions and concerts with the highest artistic quality and the rediscovery plus scientific development of the opera Carlo il Calvo, which has not been performed for almost 300 years, the festival has lived up to dream of building a second festival season at international top level in Bayreuth after the Bayreuth Wagner Festival. This is an absolute win for the cultural city of Bayreuth, and as Lord Mayor, I am happy to help and support the further development of the festival.”

In addition to the success on side, our streaming and broadcasts received a great response. One performance of Carlo il Calvo was broadcast live in the Cineplex cinemas in Bayreuth and Mannheim. For those who couldn’t get a ticket, mezzo.tv, BR-Klassik and Facebook offered and are still offering the possibility to experience the festival at home and anywhere in the world. These broadcasts were overwhelmingly well received: In the period from  September 8th till 14th, the Bayreuth Baroque Online Edition reached almost 360,000 people via social media, and the festival videos were viewed up to almost 240,000 times.
Multiple broadcasts e.g. in the BR-Mediathek and at mezzo.tv are still planned, more detailed information will be communicated via www.bayreuthbaroque.de.

Bayreuth Baroque would like to thank the artists who took their commitment despite the risk, the City of Bayreuth, the Bavarian Culture Fund, the Upper Franconian Foundation for their support and for the staff of the Bayreuth-Hermitage Palace Administration, who provided us with advice, support and solutions for the realization of the festival.

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