It was not ultimately necessary to wait until April 15, as initially planned, to find out the decision of the executive committee of the Salzburg Festival, regarding the holding of its edition of Pentecost, supposed to take place from May 29 to 1 June.
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Cecilia Bartoli, artistic director of the event, confirmed this afternoon by press release the outright cancellation of the event she is leading. “Due to the current situation, we are forced to cancel this year's Pentecost Festival in Salzburg. I was looking forward to starting rehearsals with the fantastic Salzburg team , she added to the festival goers. This decision breaks my heart, but health comes first! There is no doubt that we, our whole society, must unite and protect ourselves and our loved ones. These are tough times for all of us, but I'm sure the power of music will help us overcome it. "
All cultural gatherings prohibited until the end of June
A decision that follows the statements, in the morning, of the Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Announcing a gradual deconfinement of the country, with the reopening of small shops from next week and restaurants for mid-May, the latter however assured that cultural gatherings would remain prohibited until the end of June. For the time being, there is still hope for the Salzburg summer festival, which will celebrate its centenary this year. Spectators who had already purchased their seats for the Pentecost festival will be reimbursed.
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In office since 2012 and until the 2021 edition, the Roman singer Cecilia Bartoli had chosen to devote this edition to the singer Pauline Viardot, sister of Maria Malibran to whom she had dedicated one of her successful albums. The operas Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck (in the Berlioz version) and Alcina were especially expected in a reconstruction of the version sung by Viardot in Saint Petersburg in 1845.
In France, while the Ministry of Culture has just announced a support unit, many festivals are still waiting for May and June.