Open Air Opera in Gars

What a better setup for an Open Air opera then the ruins of the Babenberger Castle in the resort town of Gars am Kamp in Lower Austria! At the invitation of Bernhard Winkler, violinist and Director of the Klangferainigung Orchestra we witnessed the last, ninth performance of the opera ‘’The Freeshooter’’ during the popular Oper Burg Gars festival. Among the special guests was the ancestor of Johan Strauss, Dr Eduard Strauss.


“The Freeshooter” open air opera in Gars, lower Austria

Our host Bernhard Winkler here deals with recruiting musicians for the Opera Orchestra, and he shared with us the secrets for success of his own formation.

Bernhard Winkler: We are finding sponsors, we are writing to many agencies. We are trying to do our best because we love the music, because we want to take part of the cultural life of the whole world. So it’s very important for us just to do things not only to talk about it what could be possible.

The Romantic opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber and libretto by Friedrich Kind presents folk legend about love between Agatha and Max. We asked Rudolf Berger, until recently director of the Vienna Folksoper and now General Manager of the festival ‘Weather he considered Open Air Opera as something typically Austrian?’


“The Freeshooter” open air opera in Gars

Rudolf Berger: It is surprising because the weather in Austria is not always the best but actually we have quite a tradition with that. I think people who have a lot of theatre a lot of music in the cities in Austria, with the big tradition that we have in this country, like to go out of the cities in the countryside which is very beautiful especially here in Gars and the surroundings and they like to see opera maybe in a different way that they have it in town.

The artistic director of the festival is the world renowned conductor Johannes Wildner.

Johannes Wildner: We have a very tough time in such a short time to arrange the singers to choir the orchestra and have all new structures built up within six or seven months. What I have really as a basic target is to bring away the beginning of the Deutsche romantic from the 20th century and to show what it was in the time of E.T.A. Hoffmann.

Rudolf Berger: Maybe one day we’ll try to do a performance just for children to show the opera we do in a way that is relating to them, suitable for them.


“The Freeshooter” open air opera in Gars

Johannes Wildner: Now we will open our mind after this evening for next year’s summer season with Don Carlo.

Bernhard Winkler: We are young, we are full of enthusiasm and we try to do our best.

On the 17th of July 2015 the Oper Burg Festival invites you to the premiere of Don Carlo, Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece.

Open Air Opera in Gars, lower Austria