Last weekend I took a day off from mad-thesis-writing and went to Bregenz, Austria, to see the Turandot. This is the main opera of this summer opera spiel fest, a festival now in its 20? Year, famous for its stage on the waters of the Constance lake. Indeed, the stage is amazing!
The open-air theatre can accommodate an audience of 5,000, while the orchestra plays live in a room inside the theatre and is shown on big screens on the sides of the stage. Starting at sunset, the views of the lake and the spectacular stage constructed ad hoc for each show contribute to make this experience unique. Of course, if it doesn’t rain…(our show was interrupted because of a cold torrential storm!).
In the years, the festival has become a sought after summer event: we struggled to find tickets and, once there, we saw many international tourists who were also doing a weekend trip to see the Turandot! Nearby cities, in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, benefit from this too: there were people arriving via ferry just in time for the show from other places around the lake.
However, what I found most interesting was seeing how much the whole city was involved in its most famous event. For marketing reasons, quite obviously, with many shops displaying Turandot-themed things: my favourite was of course a bakery shop window displaying this cake:
Additionally, many quotes about music were inscribed onto pavements, pointing out as not only shops were drawing on the success of the festival itself, but also the city administration was marketing itself as a ‘city of music’.