How was everyone's day

Salzburg Festival: 100th years under the Herrgottswinkel

Brandauer with bells ringing, Obonya in the beer cellar, Hochmair for once only topless: Saturday belonged to everyone in Salzburg. And that from ten o'clock in the morning, when Nikolaus Ofczarek appeared in close-up on the giant screen on Kapitelplatz, to eleven o'clock in the evening, when the current Jedermann Tobias Moretti bowed in front of the false cathedral facade in the Festspielhaus.

In the city center, reprints of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's play were distributed, the President accompanied through the day on Facebook, and two real statesmen in the form of Frank-Walter Steinmeier (D) and Alexander Van der Bellen (A) joined the Jedermanns. Only the necessary cheering mood, which did not really want to arise thanks to the safety distances and mask requirement. The whole city as a stage - that was Max Reinhardt's concept for him Anyone, and this is exactly how the 100th birthday of its first performance should have been celebrated on Salzburg Cathedral Square.

From the big stage there were at least a few small podiums and tavern tables under the Herrgottswinkel, on which every man brought the devil (Moretti with half-brother Gregor Blo├ęb) or woo to their readings.

The latter was reserved for the lone record holder Peter Simonischek (91 performances!), Who shared the memories of widow Helene Thimig with Max Reinhardt together with Veronica Ferres. A AnyoneDay without fanatics, that really would not have been possible. Corona or not.

With the archbishop's blessing

The virus has caused the festivities to mark the birth of the festival to shrink badly anyway. On August 22nd in 1920 the calls for everyone echoed for the first time through the winding streets of the old town and the first actor, the actor Alexander Moissi, tried to outsmart death with the blessing of the Archbishop of Salzburg. But nothing came of it, any more than the 725 times that followed. Hofmannsthal's play has already been performed at the festival as often as President Helga Rabl-Stadler reported several times that day. The fact that the quality of the productions was in the vast majority of cases no reason to cheer, she preferred to keep quiet - after all, the performances on the Domplatz brought a lot of mammon into the bags of the festival organizers. And they needed it for their other, mostly far more successful, ventures.

Fine-tuned staging

Whereby: The current one has to be at its hundredth Anyone do not hide, even if this time he had to move from Domplatz to the Festspielhaus due to the weather. Because what the director Michael Sturminger made of the "game of the dying of the rich man" and how he fine-tuned the staging for the anniversary puts the majority of summer theaters far in the shade. Whereby one can only use the word "summer theater" in Salzburg under threat of scythe blows. The Anyone, according to the official language, is a "theater phenomenon".

In order to understand this in its full scope, theater director Bettina Hering arranged a clever reading at lunchtime. Elisabeth Orth, once the personification of faith, read texts in the Felsenreitschule by Hofmannsthal, who analyzed the collective psyche after the end of the First World War, to Berta Zuckerkandl, who reported on the abuse of the conductor Arturo Toscanini by the Nazis.

The Salzburg Festival and with them the Anyone were also always a political issue, in the year 1920 as well as under the Nazi dictatorship or in the immediate post-war period. "We wanted - we had to play," said President Helga Rabl-Stadler about this year's Schrumpf Festival before the cheering crowd in the evening.

The Anyone-Tag was always the focus of all the festival organizers' considerations. He has now gone through the stage with compromises. Not about the big ones, but about a few small ones. But at least. (Stephan Hilpold, 8/24/2020)